Monday, January 11, 2010

Soup, Soup, a Tasty Soup, Soup!

This picture has nothing to do with this post. Mom's friend brought it over as a thank-you for their girls' weekend in San Francisco and I thought it was pretty and it's been making the whole kitchen smell like Hawaii!

It's raining here today and after checking what was available in the fridge last night I decided to try and make wonton soup. Luckily, it was really easy, especially because Trader Joe's has awesome potstickers that I used in place of homemade wontons. It was warm and hearty and filling, and with only 1 tablespoon of oil and all other ingredients being low cal and low fat, it tasted like we were being bad and having takeout Chinese without the guilt!

Here's what you will need (any of my substitutions will be in parenthesis):


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic (used about 2 tablespoons of the crushed stuff in the jar)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger (used about 1 tablespoon and it could've used more, keep in mind 1/2 of this they are saying is for the wontons, but if you are using the TJ's and follow this you'd only use 1 tblsp, but I'm saying go ahead and add 2 tablespoons to the broth)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions, plus 3 tablespoons finely chopped
  • 10 cups canned low sodium chicken broth (I used half free range organic and half Swanson's in a can)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (the next few things are for the wontons, which I substituted by using Trader Joe's chicken potstickers...I think they do a pork one and they for sure do a veggie one, too)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • About 30 wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced bok choy
  • 1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps (I used the stems, too)
  • 1/4 cup sliced bamboo shoots (oops, I forgot these)
  • (I think some celery and carrots would be good in this, too, felt like it could've used a few more veggies)


In a large saucepan or soup pot heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the 1/4 cup of sliced scallions and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low so that the broth just simmers. Allow broth to simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes while the wontons are being assembled.

Add the sliced bok choy, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots to the broth and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

(Skip next two paragraphs if using pre-made wontons)

In a small mixing bowl combine the remaining teaspoon of minced garlic, remaining tablespoon of chopped ginger, 3 tablespoons of finely chopped scallions, the pork, egg yolk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and crushed red pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Working on a flat work surface, lay out a few of the wontons. (Keep remaining wonton wrappers covered with plastic wrap.) Fill a small bowl partially with cool water and set aside. Using a teaspoon measure, place a heaping teaspoonful of the meat filling in the center of each wonton. Using your fingers, lightly wet the edges of the wonton. Bring 2 opposite corners of the wonton together to form a triangle and enclose the filling, pressing edges firmly around the mound of filling to eliminate any air pockets and seal. Moisten opposite corners of the long side. Curl moistened corners toward each other, overlapping one on top of the other, and press the edges together to seal. You should now have a rounded stuffed wonton with a triangle poking up at the top. Assemble the remaining wontons in the same manner. When the wontons are all assembled, set aside.

Using your hands or a slotted spoon, gently add the prepared wontons to the simmering broth. Increase the heat slightly so that the broth returns to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally (very gently), until the wontons float and the pork filling is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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