First and foremost I want to wish everyone a happy new year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season. Now that we have Christmas out of the way, lets bring on summer! I really don’t like the cold at all. One of the few good things that arises from this cold winter chill is soups. I love soups. I love to make them, eat them and oh, did I mention eat them.
Now that my personal chef business has slowed down a bit I have time to publish some stories and recipes I have made over the past few weeks. I also have time to create lots of comfort food to fill my families bellies. The first recipe I want to go over is this Soba Noodle soup with chicken and kale. It was one of the foods I actually just recently prepared and one of my favorites.
I needed to come up with a broth for this soup. I didn’t want just chicken stock. So I went through my freezer in search of scraps or reduced somethings or slivers of who knows what. What I found was something I think I subconsciously saved for this very occasion. Its amazing how the mind works. I found a big zip lock bag a bunch of zucchini scraps. I had made some grilled zucchini roll-ups filled with goat cheese, as a hors d’oeuvres for a party around Christmas time. I had to make 140 of them so lots of scraps. I also had lots of Shitake mushroom stems and Portabella mushroom scraps. Wallah!!! Idea formed.
I started this base off with a few cloves of whole garlic and a little chunk of ginger. I just wanted the essence of these flavors and not the soup to wreak of ginger and garlic. Just enough so people wonder. I sauted these bits with some vegetable oil. Not much. then splashed some mirin in. Then I threw all the scraps I had in: about two quarts of zucchini scraps (mostly the skin) and 3-4 cups of mushroom scraps. Then add water so its about an inch over the vegetables. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 45-hour.
When this concoction is complete its very important to get all the liquid out of the vegetables when straining. What I do is strain as usual and reserve the scrap your going to toss. When all is strained put all these scraps back in the strainer and push down on them, to force some of the liquid out. Then sprinkle a little bit of salt on this mash and stir it a bit. Now leave it in the strainer over your bowl for 30 minutes. You can skip this step but I believe the best flavor is derived from this step. Your call :).
Now that you have the base, here’s the recipe!
Soba Noodle Soup with Chicken and Kale8 oz chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion
1 Tbsp grated ginger
3/4 Tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Tsp cumin
1 bunch Kale, 4 cups
2 Tbsp soy sauce
8 oz of Soba noodles Directions: Take garlic, ginger,onion and saute on medium low until onion is caramelized. Then add red pepper flakes, and cumin. Add Chicken; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add Kale, soy sauce, and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Toss in soba noodles and cook until done following manufacturers instructions on box/bag.