Szechuan Chicken Soup

READY IN: 1hr 20mins




  • 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.