Friday, February 24, 2012

OMG! That Can't Be Left-Overs!

Soup is one of those universal budget and time friendly dishes that I love to make.  In fact at any given time I generally have 6-8 different soups in individual serving size portions in my freezer!  I have never found it easy to make small batches of soup.  For some reason by the time I add all of the veggies and stock and, and, and I suddenly have 3 or 4 quarts of soup! 

Today I made a beautiful Thai inspired soup from my left-over Roasted Lemon Chicken and Winter Veggies.  The recipe below assumes that you are making it from scratch, so I'll post the slight variations when using your left-overs below.

Chicken and Greens in Coconut-Lime Broth
This is one of my favorite really quick soups!  It uses very few ingredients and takes only 30 minutes from the time you begin the prep until you can serve it!  The ingredients are a bit flexible, so feel free to add your own personal touches by adding snow peas, shitake mushrooms, bean sprouts or peppers.  This one is my own really scaled down, really simple version.  I find it truly satisfying, only mildly spicy and the perfect lunch or dinner on a cool day. 
Yield – 2 1/2 quarts or 6 large servings

6 cups chicken broth
1 cup Thai Kitchen organic coconut milk
1 Kaffir lime leaf
1 inch piece lemon grass, bruised to release flavor
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
6 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
3 cups Tuscan kale, sliced into thin ribbons
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon GF low sodium Tamari
8 ounces chicken cut into small pieces
Cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

Add chicken, stock, coconut milk and spices to a 3 quart pot over medium heat.  As you prep each type of veggie, add to the pot.  Bring to a low boil, cover and cook 20-30 minutes.  The longer you cook the soup the more pronounced the lime leaf and lemon grass will become.

Serve in large bowls with a side salad or over pour over a half cup of steamed quinoa for an even heartier dish.

If you are making this from your left-over Roasted Lemon Chicken and Winter Veggies here are the easy substitutions you can make:

Begin by pouring any of the remaining roasting liquids into your measuring cup, then add enough stock to total 6 cups.  Incorporate any remaining roasted veggies by chopping them into uniform pieces, then adjust the amount of cabbage, kale and carrots depending upon how many veggies you have left over.  The roasted veggies will add an even richer layer of flavor to your soup.

If you have any roasted lemon slices left, chop into smallish pieces and reduce the lemongrass to a 1/2 inch piece or eliminate if you have several lemon slices.

Debone enough chicken to total 8 ounces, dice or shred into small pieces.

This soup is another example of a dish that uses little meat while creating a completely satisfying dish by balancing the sweet, sour, savory and bitter flavors in the ingredients.  In addition to flavor balancing this is an absolute powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein and medium chain fatty acids that will really feed your body.  It even has a plethora of Vitamin B's and an array of spices sure to lift your spirits on a cool, blustery day!

Now you've transformed your left-overs into an entirely different dish!  I cannot wait for you to smell the perfume of the lime leaves and lemongrass wafting through your kitchen!

Dr. P

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