Pre, during, and post-hurricane, all I've wanted to do is curl up inside with good books and warm food. We didn't get hit too badly here, but we did lose power for about 24 hours earlier this week. And Sandy brought THE COLD. There's nothing I am a bigger wuss about than cold weather, so I was happy when our heat came back on and I could make up a big pot to soup to eat for the rest of the week. I guess most of New York City has just gotten their power back, but I'm thinking of all the people in Staten Island, New Jersey, and other places who are still without power and have lost their cars, homes, or other possessions. It seems a little empty and callous to just say "I'm thinking of them," but I am. And I wish I could send them some soup (although I guess money is probably more appropriate).
All of this to say bascially, sometimes I just get in the mood for Asian food; specifically Asian soup. Thai is usually my top choice, but I can never make Thai even half as good as the Thai place up the street (added bonus: the elderly lady who is the deliveryperson. OMG, she's my fave). But this soup is one of my better Asian food experiments.
This isn't a "put in the crockpot and let it sit" kind of recipe, by the way. It's more of a "come back once an hour to add or stir" kind of recipe. Good for a lazy day spent inside. You get all the benefits of a warm tasty dinner but you don't actually have to put too forth much effort to get it.
Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Soup
makes 10ish servings?
total time: 4-5 hours
total hands-on time: maybe 30 min total
What you'll need:
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 or so tsps of ground ginger
black pepper to taste
1-2 tbsps sesame oil
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
4 leeks, sliced into rounds
1 1/2 cup dry white or brown rice, cooked
fresh cilantro and green onion for garnish
What you'll do:
1. Place chicken breasts in bottom of crockpot (I put fresh garlic underneath of them) and liberally sprinkle with black pepper and ginger. Add a drizzle of sesame oil.
2. After about an hour, add broth and water.
3. After about another hour (you're now at hour 3), take chicken out and shred it, then add sliced leeks. Add other seasonings if you'd like.
5. Once the rice is done, add it to the crockpot and drizzle in a bit more sesame oil. You can also add some soy sauce. Add more water if the soup seems too thick. This soup can cook a bit more if you want, but as long as the chicken is fully done, it's ready to serve.
6. Ladle into bowls and serve with cilantro and green onion.
Don't skip the cilantro and green onion! I think they add a needed burst of fresh flavor to this comforting soup. I guess you could sub in other green herbs that you like, or omit one, but I loved having both of these as extras in my bowl.