Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is one of my favorite soups. It is a pretty quick soup and uses lots of fresh ingredients. It is kind of fun to make because you make the base first and then ladle it over stir fried vegetables, raw bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and cilantro. The hot broth cooks the cabbage and everything else stays crisp tender. It is my own recipe made up from only my own cooking experiences and ideas so I am sure that there is nothing about it that is even close to authentic even if there is such a thing, but it is a good soup with lots of nice flavors and crisp fresh vegetables. Although the chow mien noodles and peanuts are listed as optional, I highly recommend them. They add so much depth to the soup. The stir fry noodles that I use are fresh. I can find them in the produce isle near the bean sprouts and egg roll wraps. The flavor that I prefer is Hot'N' Spicy. It is a Szechuan recipe after all and Szechuan is a spicy dish.
- 2 -3 chicken breast halves
- 10 cups water
- 1 large onion, diced
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 -8 dried red chilies
- 2 cups celery, sliced into bite size pieces
- 1 cup carrot, sliced into bite size pieces
- 1 (8 ounce) package sugar snap peas
- 2 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts, sliced
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 -3 teaspoons ground red pepper (optional)
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 16 ounces pre-shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix
- 12 ounces fresh bean sprouts
- 2 (8 ounce) packagesstir fry noodles (Hot 'N' Spicy, fully cooked with sauce packet) (optional)
- chow mein noodles (optional)
- chopped peanuts (optional)
- Place water, chicken breasts, bay leaf, chilies, garlic, and soy sauce in a large soup pot or dutch oven; simmer until chicken is done. Cool enough to handle and remove the meat from the bones; dice into bite sized pieces and add back to the soup.
- Remove bay leaf and chilies and discard.
- Add water chestnuts, ground red pepper and ginger to the cooking liquid.
- Bring back to a boil and add stir fry noodles, and sauce packets; bring to a boil and simmer until noodles are done.
- Stir fry celery, carrots, sugar snap peas, and onions in olive oil until crisp tender; season with salt.
- Place an equal amount of bean sprouts, coleslaw mix, cilantro and vegetables into deep bowls.
- Ladle boiling hot soup over vegetables.
- Garnish with the chow mien noodles and peanuts.
- Feb. 15, 2009, Edited by the author of this recipe to add just in case others prefer the original: The last few times I have made this soup, I have taken to cooking the noodles separately in chicken broth and straining the broth into the rest of the soup base leaving the noodles mostly al dente in a separate dish to be added to each serving with the vegetables in step 6. Using boiling hot soup will ensure that your veggies and noodles will be hot and cooked, while the vegetables and cooled noodles cools the soup enough to eat comfortably. Using this technique also allows you to freeze the base for future meals without compromising the noodles after step 3 making this perfect for a OMAC. Don't worry about the water chestnuts. They will stand up beautifully to freezing and will make this soup a quick dish when time is limited. I have also started using extra crunchy peanut butter instead of peanuts. Dip your clean spoon into the jar of peanut butter and get a big heaping spoonful. Stir it into your hot soup before garnishing with chow mein noodles. This not only gives you a more enhanced peanut taste, but gives the soup a pleasant peanutty, creamy flavor. I have also been using a small amount of hot chili oil in the olive oil to stir fry with instead of chilies. I like the taste and you can control the heat factor easier. I like to sear the seasoned chicken breasts in it before cutting it into bite size pieces before stir frying the vegetables.
Yummy!! You are right, the chow mein noodles are a must!! I was a little conservative on the heat factor and omitted the dried red chiles, used only 1tsp. of ground red pepper and one Hot 'N' Spicy and one Regular package of stir fry noodles. That was just about right for us. The flavor was very reminiscent of the Chow Mein of my youth.