Turmeric Ginger Chicken Soup

This soup requires some effort. It takes time to cook. But if you’re in the mood for a soul-nourishing chicken soup full of anti-inflammatory, flavor-enhancing ginger and turmeric, it’s worth it. There’s a meditative quality to this type of cooking that can be as satisfying as the actual eating of the soup. However, if you want a shortcut: use store bought chicken stock, shredded rotisserie chicken, and simmer the stock with the garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cilantro… Strain the soup, discard the solids, then add the shredded chicken. Sauté the bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and carrots in garlic and olive oil, add to the soup, with fresh lemon juice, add the vegetables to the stock, and simmer until carrots are soft and the chicken is heated, and serve with fresh cilantro. 

Turmeric Ginger Chicken Soup
Serves 4
A wonderfully nourishing homemade chicken soup with ginger and turmeric.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 3½–4-pound chicken or 3 bone-in, with skin, chicken thighs
  2. 2 medium onions, unpeeled, quartered
  3. 2 heads of garlic, unpeeled, halved crosswise, plus 1 clove of garlic, minced
  4. 2 4-inch pieces of ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
  5. 1 lemon, halved
  6. Fresh cilantro
  7. 3 dried bay leaves
  8. 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  9. 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  10. 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  11. Kosher salt
  12. 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  13. 12 ounces carrots (about 4 medium), peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces on a diagonal
  14. 4 ounces of shiitake mushrooms (about 1 cup), diced
  15. 3 to 4 leaves of bok choy, white and green parts, sliced
Instructions
  1. Place chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, turmeric, peppercorns, a few stems of cilantro, and several pinches of salt in a large pot. Pour in cold water to cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer until chicken is done, 30–35 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly; keep stock simmering. Remove skin from chicken; discard. Pull meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces; set aside. Return bones and carcass to stock. Add the tamari or soy sauce and juice from half a lemon. Increase heat and bring stock to a boil, for about 15–20 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.
  2. Strain stock into a large saucepan; discard solids.
  3. In a large pan, add the olive oil and minced garlic, sauté at medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant, add the mushrooms and carrots, cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms soften. Add the bok choy, cook until bok choy wilts, about 3-5 minutes. Squeeze juice from half a lemon. Add the vegetable mixture to the soup.
  4. Add shredded chicken meat to stock and cook just until the carrots are tender and the chicken is heated through; season stock with more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls. Top soup with fresh cilantro.
Notes
  1. If you find cooking a whole chicken daunting, try a few bone-in chicken thighs (with skin). They're easier to strip of their meat, and they are flavorful. Not quite as much as a whole chicken, but close enough. And, I find the tamari adds a nice layer of flavor.
  2. For a quick short-cut, buy both chicken stock and a rotisserie chicken. You can simmer the store-bought stock with the ginger, bay leaves, turmeric, cilantro, and peppercorns, or just the turmeric and ginger, for about 20 minutes, and then strain it before adding the chicken meat and other vegetables.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Adapted from Bon Appetit
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