Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Tasty Comforting Cure for What Ails You

Greetings from the Kitchen on Carlisle!  So this is my first entry in my first ever experience of blogging.  I know there are tons of blogs out there that revolve around food, along with lots of foodies, experienced culinary professionals and very good home cooks.  I’m hoping to bring a little bit of light-heartedness along with some useful information and recipes that address my passion of all things food & wine-related.  It’s going to be a bit of a work in progress while I tweak some design and format issues so thanks in advance for suffering through with me J.

I hope everyone has had a good start to the New Year.  I enjoyed ringing in 2012 with good friends, good food & of course good wine! For the past 2 weeks I’ve had a nasty cold and to me and a lot of other people -  nothing makes you feel better than chicken soup.  In light of the Chinese New Year I thought I would make an Asian-inspired soup to cure what ails me.  I conjured up this recipe while I was watching the Giants play their way to victory in the Superbowl  (sorry all you Patriots fans).  The mellowness of the ginger, the meatiness of oyster mushrooms, a bit of heat from the dried red peppers & the tasty chicken-cilantro wontons REALLY hits the spot.

Thanks for reading and I’m hoping 2012 brings good health, happiness & prosperity to you all!

3Tb butter
1Tb olive oil
1 cup medium diced onion
1 cup medium diced carrot
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
4 Tb flour
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 small dried red chilies
1 cup oyster mushrooms, cleaned & torn by hand
1 bag chicken-cilantro wontons (preferably TraderJoe’s© brand)
Kosher salt to taste
Fennel fronds or Italian parsley for garnish


Melt butter and olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add onion, carrot & ginger and allow to soften/sweat for 10 minutes on medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes making sure not to burn. Add flour and stir for 5-6 minutes until flour turns a blonde color.  Add the chicken broth and continue to stir until flour is incorporated into the liquid (essentially you are making a veloute).  Add the dried peppers & simmer on medium low for 60 minutes to allow liquid to thicken and reduce. Add mushrooms and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Add the wontons and allow to warm through approx. 8-10 minutes.  Prior to serving, remove the chilies (can use as a garnish but don't eat them)  and garnish with either the fennel fronds or parsley.