I spent most of last week sick with a head cold, slurping down copious amounts of hot tea. As I was busy with Halloween posts and not very interested in eating regular food, Green Tea Chicken Soup became my life saver. Soup can taste like a 5-star meal when you’re sick, and luckily, with this recipe, my 5-star meal took just minutes to make!
As wonderful as chicken noodle soup is, the Asian gal in me insists on putting my untraditional twist on this favorite. It’s amazing how some slight changes to the ingredient list can instantly transform a homey, farmstead recipe into a unique and inspired one. Miso, ginger, and green tea are my secret ingredients here–they add just a touch of Asian flair without overwhelming the soup.
I found these organic green tea soba noodles at World Market the other day. These are great in any soup, but especially here, where their green tea flavor is also infused in the broth itself. These noodles have buckwheat in them, which helps to create a tender texture similar to that of egg noodles.
I use the green tea in a way similar to how a bouquet garni is used. A disposable green tea “pouch” strainer is filled and knotted so that the tea can release all of its vibrant flavor and later be collected and removed. The difference between my green tea bouquet garni and a traditional one is that the tea version is removed just after the soup comes to a boil instead of being left in the soup for the entire cooking process. This way, we can easily remove the tea before it starts to taste bitter.
While I like to use Genmaicha (Japanese brown rice or popcorn tea) to make my Green Tea Chicken Soup, you can use any green tea you like. I prefer Genmaicha here because it has a rich and toasty taste from the rice, but any not too expensive (and unflavored) Chinese or Japanese green tea will work well here.
If you’re feeling under the weather this fall or winter, this is the recipe for you! And even if you aren’t sick, this cozy soup can get you through the harshest of chilly days. Be generous with the ginger and green tea and you’ll have a classically soothing and antioxidant-rich combination that would leave any soup lover feeling completely nourished and satisfied.
Green Tea Chicken Soup
Makes 2 large bowls of soup.
1 Tbsp olive oil or peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
5 green onions, thinly sliced, whites separated from greens
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 stalks of celery, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
48 oz low sodium chicken broth
1- 2″ x 1″ knob of ginger, peeled and cut into 3 pieces
3 Tbsp green tea leaves, put into a large enclosed strainer or large T-Sac and knotted (I used Genmaicha)
2 Tbsp miso broth concentrate (you can also use miso paste, but use to taste)
3 1/2 oz green tea or regular soba noodles, broken into 3″short noodles
1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/2 cup enoki or shiitake mushrooms
cilantro, for serving
ground black pepper to taste
1 large pot
1 medium pot
large tea strainer or large paper tea filter
1.) Heat olive oil and sesame oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Lower the heat, add the white parts of the green onions, and sauté until softened but not browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery, and sauté them for 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, drop in the ginger and green tea bouquet garni, then increase heat to high and bring the broth to a full boil.
2.) When the broth reaches a full boil, lower the heat to a slow simmer, then remove the green tea bouquet garni after a minute. Add the miso paste, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes on low.
3.) Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil the green tea noodles 2 minutes shy of the package instructions. When cooked, drain the noodles and set aside.
4.) After 15 minutes on low heat, remove the ginger knobs. Add the noodles, shredded chicken, and mushrooms, then bring the soup back to a boil. Serve piping hot with sliced green onion and cilantro, then add pepper to taste and serve.