Asian Mushroom, Chicken, and Soba Soup

It seems I spoke too soon. Earlier this week our gorgeous, 70-degree weather gave way to several stereotypical, chilling March days. That’s okay though, I have no room to complain about our oddly warm winter and our strikingly warm spring. If March feels like being itself for a few days, it’ll just serve to remind us how lucky we’ve been to this point. And it will also give us an opportunity to revisit some slightly more warming food, before it’s really gone for the season.

I got this soup recipe from Lori, my step-mom and it is just perfect for this time of year. It’s warm and filling, but not even remotely heavy. You can eat it with spring on the brain, but before spring actually arrives.

 If you’re going to make this recipe, you’d better love mushrooms, because this soup has a ton of them. So many in fact that, as my dad pointed out, this is really more of a mound of mushrooms with a little broth on the side. If you intend to eat this over the course of a few days, you will need more broth than the original recipe calls for- I upped it a bit and I still wished there was more.

This warm bowl is full of classic asian flavors like soy sauce, ginger and mirin, but I feel like it’s infinitely adaptable. I added a few splashes of  fish sauce and if I had hoisin, that would have gone in too. The cabbage, carrots and mushrooms work wonderfully together, but there’s no reason you couldn’t add bell peppers or asparagus or broccoli. The chicken could be subbed for pork, if you’re into that sort of thing (if you’re not into that sort of thing, why are you here?). But even if you make so substitutions and make the recipe as written, you’re in for a treat.

Asian Mushroom, Chicken, and Soba Soup

Adapted from Jean Carper’s Eat Smart.

The recipe below includes my alterations. Oh and I can’t forget to mention: fastest. soup. ever.

8 cups fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
3 T low sodium soy sauce
2 T fish sauce
4 t grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 c assorted sliced mushrooms (white button, oyster, crimini, portobello…whatever)
3 c sliced white cabbage (I used savoy)
1 c thinly sliced carrots
2 c cooked chicken breast, shredded
2 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 c thinly sliced green onions
2 c baby spinach leaves
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T mirin (sweetened rice wine)

  • In a large pot, combine broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, & chicken. Cover. Bring to a boil; simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes
  • Add noodles and let boil 4 minutes
  • Add green onion and spinach and simmer until greens are wilted (~2 minutes)
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper
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