Between Thanksgiving and other wintertime holidays there's this little break where we can all take a few deep breaths and recover from the hustle and bustle. The beginning of December still feels really busy, but it doesn't have to, at least that's what I'm saying with this bowl of cozy, slow-down soup.
It's brothy. It's warm. It's satisfying. This bowl tells you to take a deep breath and sit back in your chair while you slurp. It’s one of those feel better soups, if you’ve been feeling a little under the weather, or just need a little pick me up on a grey day (which we’ve had quite a few of lately). With fresh ginger it has a little kick, and with sautéed shiitakes it’s full of umami goodness. For me, this soup is just the thing to eat in between big gatherings and slices of pie!
Cozy night in with a movie and steaming bowls? Let's do it.
The meatballs in the soup are inspired by some of my favorite potstickers—ones I learned to make as I kid. They have green onions, ginger, garlic, and cilantro folded into them, giving them fresh and bold flavor. Meatballs in soup is not something I do often (actually, this is the first time I've tried it) but a little day dream about potstickers got in my head and it expressed itself as this soup.
You can also add rice noodles to this, if you like slurping up hot noodles (and who doesn't?). See the "Tip" in the instructions. Adding rice noodles will increase the number of servings to 6-8.
Serves: 5 | Total Time: 45 minutes
For the meatballs:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/4 heaping cup sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated on microplane (or ginger paste)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
- 1 dash cayenne
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 cups mushrooms, diced into bite sized pieces (if the mushrooms are small, feel free to skip this)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated on a microplane
- 6 cups chicken or mushroom broth (I do half chicken, half mushroom)
- Splash of soy sauce
- Pepper to taste To Serve:
- Chopped green onions and cilantro
- Sesame seeds
- Sriracha or red chili flakes
- In a medium bowl, mix the ingredients for the meatballs, except for the coconut oil, using a rubber spatula. Once combined, heat the coconut oil in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium heat. When the oil sizzles, shape the chicken mixture into small spheres, about 1-inch to 1-1/2 in in diameter each. Cook them in batches, browning on each side for 1-2 minutes and turning. Once cooked, move meatballs from pot to a plate and set aside. Continue until all the chicken is used.
- Now work on the rest of the soup: Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the pot. Once it sizzles, add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are tender. Add broth, splash of soy sauce, and a few cracks of pepper to the pot. Then, return meatballs to the pot.
- Bring soup to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Then, serve hot in bowls and top with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, and Sriracha or red chili flakes.
- Tip: If you would like to add rice noodles to this, add an 8 ounce package of thin (vermicelli) noodles in the last 3 minutes when you are simmering the soup. Simmer until the noodles are softened through, then remove soup from heat and serve.