Archive for the ‘Chicken soup’ Category

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One of my favorite things to do is gather wild vegetables and herbs – and use them.  This time of year offers abundant wild vegetables, and what to me and so many other people looks like just another weed, to Dr. Tae Yun Kim they are very precious foods.  When I am lucky enough to get to accompany her on a wild herb picking adventure, she talks about how when she was little, those herbs saved her life.  If you follow my blog you might remember that when she grew up, she was rejected and abused and eventually abandoned just because she was a girl – and during the time of having to fend for herself she relied on those wild herbs.  Later on, when Dr. Kim was training under a Buddhist monk in the Martial Arts, he passed onto her an amazing treasure of knowledge, not just what you can eat, but how to use all manner of herbs for healing all kinds of conditions.


In the above basked you can see some herbs that are easily available in most places, such as young dandelion, shepherds purse, purslane and more.  This particular basket includes a few green onions that had gone astray and grown way outside the actual vegetable garden.

In addition to the great taste, wild herbs also help detox your body after winter.

To use them in soup, soak these herbs well in apple cider vinegar for about 10 minutes, change the water, and repeat.  Then chop them up into big pieces, including the roots if you can, and boil until barely tender.

For the soup base, you really can you use any broth you like.  Chicken soup is a great one as is beef.  The most traditional way to eat the herbs is boil them briefly in “bean paste soup” or Deng Jang chigae as it is called in Korean.

Let’s go outside and gather some herbs!  Just be sure you know which ones are edible.




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I love making chicken soup.  I also love to eat it!  It is so versatile and you can use it as a base for a whole host of other things.  But let’s talk about the soup first.

Nowadays, I experiment a bit more, and also am not afraid to make the soup if I am lacking an ingredient or two.  I have found that it’s hard to make bad chicken soup.  Somehow it always comes out good.  Of course, I LOVE to make chicken soup and I am sure this happy energy “jumps” right into the soup I make.  It is just like my teacher, Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, says, that if you are happy and in a good mood, your food comes out tasting good and people will feel good after eating it.  But if you are upset or angry while you are cooking – it’ll show up as indigestion in those that eat that food.  I have to agree with that, from my experience…

While chicken soup is, of course, not a medication, and doesn’t actually cure anything, it does make a lot of people feel better and brings warmth and comfort.  Just the smell alone makes me feel better already….

So, here is my not so secret chicken soup recipe: 

Things I always put into my chicken soup:

  • Chicken (duh!)
  • crushed garlic (I use a lot, for a good sized pot of chicken, about 3 tablespoons or more)
  • One oninon, cut in chunks
  • a couple carrots, peeled and cut in rough chunks
  • a couple parsnips , peeled and cut into chunks
  • a spear or two of celery, cut into chunks
  • if you can get it, some celery root

the next ingredients, well whatever I have on hand, I might throw in…in varying quantities

  • a spoonful or two of grated ginger
  • some fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • some parsley
  • cilantro
  • mushrooms, any kind
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Let this boil at least a couple hours, slow, rolling boil is best.  Another trick I learned from Grandmaster Kim is, to boil out the chicken pieces before using it in the soup, with Kosher salt and crushed garlic – this takes out all the hormones and whatever might be lurking in the chicken…

So there you have it.  Of course, don’t stop there.   There are a bunch of things you can add into this soup, to make it into more of a meal – like little dumplings of all sorts, matzo balls, croutons, the sky is the limit!  I personally love to add suchebi – thin Korean dumplings, and I prefer the ones made from potatoes…mmmmh!  I better head to the kitchen right now and start cooking that chicken!!!

PS:  any chicken parts will do.  I personally like using a whole chicken – gives a more intense flavor, but use whatever you have!

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