Here’s a nutritional upgrade of the iconic cold- and flu-fighter soup that offers a fiery Asian twist. The searing serrano chili pepper is a smaller and more potent version of the jalapeno. If you want your soup to pack more of a punch, include more serrano seeds.
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) sliced dried mushrooms
2/3 pkg (about 6 oz/170 g) soba noodles
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed or coconut oil
1 lb (450 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) slices
2 medium-sized carrots, sliced into matchsticks
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 serrano chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) Chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
5 cups (1. 25 L) no-sodium or low-sodium chicken broth
6 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) wakame flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds
Place mushrooms in bowl, cover with cold water, and soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve soaking water.
In large saucepan, prepare soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Return pan to stove and heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
Stir in carrot, garlic, green onions, serrano chili pepper, ginger, five spice powder, and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in broth and 1 cup (250 mL) mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to a simmer and then stir in mushrooms, bok choy, and wakame flakes, if using; heat for 2 minutes. Stir in soba noodles.
Divide soup among serving bowls and garnish with sesame seeds.