Saturday, January 12, 2013

Neighborhood Chicken and Vegetable Soup

First I’d like to thank Tracy for allow me to be a part of a her future video post on  Bon HealthTracy is a holistic health coach, fellow foodie and upstairs neighbor.  Video of this soup will appear in the March addition of her blog. 

There are at least 128 nationalities represented in my neighborhood.  Often referred to as the Little United Nations, Astoria is a bustling destination of ethnic restaurants and cultural markets.  As I walk down 30th Avenue the aroma of Bosnian meat pies, Lebanese sausage and fresh Italian bread fill the air.  This is a food lovers’ paradise. That is why this seemingly ordinary dish is full of unexpected textures and flavors.  Neighborhood Chicken and Vegetable Soup pays tribute to the many  traditions I encountered today as I gathered the ingredients to prepare this soup. Don’t be intimidated by the  numerous components.  It's just soup! You can always omit or substitute.

Neighborhood Chicken and Vegetable Soup

2 pound boneless chicken dark and white meat-cubed
1 tablespoon Shaoxing
1teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 teaspoon more
1 small red onion, julienne
2 leeks white part only, julienne
2 stalks celery, julienne
2 carrots, julienne
1 red pepper, julienne
2 teaspoons garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon Serrano pepper
2.5 quarts chicken broth
1 cup peeled dices potatoes
½ cup amaranth
½ cup fresh frozen green chick peas
2 cups Calabaza , medium cubed
4 sliced radish

1 avocado
1 lime

Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and Shaoxing.  Let marinate for at least ½ hour.
Heat a large Dutch oven, 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Sweat all julienne vegetables until celery starts to become translucent. 
Add garlic, turmeric, minced ginger and Serrano peppers.  Remove vegetables.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil; sear chicken until meat gets brown.  When chicken browns add vegetables, herbs and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil; add amaranth, potatoes and green chic peas. Simmer until potatoes become tender-about ½ hour
Add Calabaza and radish; simmer for about 15 minutes or until Calabaza becomes tender but not mushy.

Correct the seasoning as desired

Serve; garnish with diced avocado and a twist of lime juice.

Side notes. 
I liked this soup but Tracy wanted it to have a little more body so I added a chickpea flour slurry. ( 2 tablespoon chick pea flour and 2 tablespoons  water)  This is optional.

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