By Susan Selasky
Detroit Free Press
It’s soup season, and, no surprise, January is National Soup Month. And so, that means soup for you. With all these cold weather snaps, everyone appears to be making, talking and cozying up to a bowl of warm broth.
Today’s soup is far from homemade, and that’s what makes it a beauty. This soup recipe is quick and easy thanks to canned broth and frozen chicken wontons.
We all have favorite convenience foods, and these frozen wontons are one of mine. And while I typically have homemade chicken or vegetable stock squirreled away in the freezer, I keep canned broth at hand.
Several years ago, these Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons sold at Trader Joe’s came into my life. And since, they’ve been a staple not only for this soup but as an easy appetizer.
In today’s soup, the wontons work two-fold — providing the chicken, as well as the starch or noodle or pasta all wrapped in one tiny nice package. Add them to the soup straight from the freezer, and they need a few minutes in the boiling broth.
The shiitake mushrooms are another one of my favorites. As mushrooms go, shiitakes lend that meaty flavor to most dishes.
They are best just slightly cooked or sauteed first as they are in this soup. To clean shiitakes, wipe with a damp paper towel and remove the stems. You can chop and use the stems to flavor stocks.
Carrots, snow peas and sliced baby bok choy are good additions to this soup.
A few splashes of soy sauce give the soup additional depth of flavor, and you can add a drizzle or two of Sriracha sauce or chili paste for a spicy kick.
When using soy sauce, I always use ones that are labeled less-sodium. How much less varies with the product. The amounts usually are listed in percentages and in comparison to their regular product. Be sure to check the label.
With a measly 226 calories for a generous 1 1⁄2 cups serving, this soup is impressively filling.
Quick and Easy Chicken Wonton Soup
Serves: 4 (generously)
Preparation time: 10 minutes; total time: 20 minutes
Analysis based on 1 serving, about 1 1⁄2 Cs.
226 calories (28 percent from fat), 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 28 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 634 mg sodium, 8 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber.
2 pkg (4 ounces each) shiitake mushrooms
2 tsp canola oil
6 1⁄2 Cs fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
About 1⁄2 bag (more if desired) chicken cilantro mini wontons (such as Trader Joe’s)
2 TBS less-sodium soy sauce
1⁄2 tsp toasted sesame oil or hot chili oil, or to taste, optional
2 cups coarsely chopped Napa cabbage
3 green onions, washed, thinly sliced
Remove and discard the stems of the shiitakes. Wipe the shiitakes clean with a damp paper towel. Cut the shiitake caps into thin slices.
In a medium saucepot, heat the canola oil. Add the shiitakes and sauté until soft. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Add the wontons and cook about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, if using; Napa cabbage and green onions. Simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into bowls.
— From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.