Lets face it: it’s sick season. If you aren’t sick, chances are you know someone who is. There is a cold circulating through my group of friends at the moment and the only thing I can think of to make everyone feel better is a nice, healthy soup. As we get deeper into winter, the market is getting a little smaller but there are still so many great items you can find there! This soup uses some of those items with a few non-market elements and the result is a delicious, nutritious comfort soup that will feed even the worst colds!
I wanted to use mushrooms with some great health benefits, so I chose shiitake. Shiitakes have been used for centuries as an immune system booster. Recent studies have shown that they have numerous properties that help to prevent against cardiovascular diseases. They are also a very good non-animal source of iron. This is great news for vegetarians, who might have a hard time getting enough of the iron that they need to stay healthy.
I chose bok choy for this soup because this veggie has a lot of health benefits as well. This increasingly popular member of the cruciferous vegetable family (which also includes broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and cabbage) is an excellent source of omega-3s and the mineral zinc. Bok choy also has a great beta-carotene content, which ranks it very high on the list of veggies with strong vitamin A properties. This is definitely a vegetable that you want to include in your diet as much as possible!
As always, I’ve included where I purchased my produce from each vendor at the market. I chose a bone-in chicken breast because I like the flavor that roasting it on the bone brings to the meat. Bone broth from Painted Hand Farm is available in pork, veal, chicken, and beef. I chose beef because I like the flavor combination of beef and mushrooms. I’ve also added some optional Asain ingredients that I think work really well with the mushroom/bok choy combination. These can be omitted, although they really give the soup an added kick.
Shiitake, Bok Choy, and Chicken Soup
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (All Things Olive)
- 1 yellow onion, diced (Two Acre Farm)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (Two Acre Farm)
- 6 cups broth (Painted Hand Farm)
- 2 carrots, sliced (Twin Springs Fruit Farm)
- 8 large bok choy ribs with leaves, finely chopped (Bending Bridge Farm)
- 2 stalks celery, sliced (Twin Springs Fruit Farm)
- 8 shiitake mushroom caps, sliced (The Mushroom Stand)
- 1 bone-in chicken breast (Liberty Delight Farm)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional, for an Asian flair:
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- ¼ tsp. Asian chili oil
- 4 tsp. rice vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350. Wash and dry the chicken breast. Place in a oven safe dish, rub with 3 tablespoons of oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven until the internal temperature (measured using a meat thermometer) reaches 165, about an hour. Put aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil (and the sesame oil, chili oil and rice vinegar, if using) in a large stock pot with the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth, carrots, celery, and mushrooms and bring to a boil. Add the bok choy and simmer for 5 minutes.
When the chicken has cooled, shred it with your fingers into the pot. Make sure to get every delicious piece of meat off those bones! Serve warm.