I’ve been sick this past week, which means I’ve been pretty lethargic and not wanting to do anything, especially cook. But, a girl’s gotta refuel in order to keep her strength and nurse herself back to health!
Needless to say, soup has been on the menu most days. And I don’t mean to brag but I’ve become quite the connoisseur of President’s Choice soups. Don’t get me wrong, canned soups aren’t my favourite, but sometimes you crack under sickness.
To my surprise, I actually really enjoy PC soups compared to the beloved Campbell’s brand, which for me at least, has always had sort of a tin-y aftertaste.
So far I’ve sampled:
Mexican Chicken - Lots of vibrant colours and super comforting
Chicken Noodle Soup - Surprisingly tasty and the chicken doesn’t look like gelatinous!
Peruvian Squash & Quinoa - Rich in flavour and hearty
Italian-Style Wedding Soup - My favourite! I love the little meatballs and pastina!
Hearty Beef Soup - Definitely the most satisfying as I can never finish a can of this!
Thai Chicken - Lots of different textures and has a bit of spice
I’m happy to report that all these soups have been pretty decent. Of course, they are no Ma’s Best soups but they’ll do when I’m in a pinch. To give you a bit of an idea, Ma’s soups are served in a glass mason jar and taste like something your Ma would actually make for you. Simple but rich in flavour, their soups are gluten-free, dairy-free and even vegan.
It’s no surprise that I’ve also become a hoarder of these soups after stopping by their location at Square One’s Food District. I’ve fallen in love with their luxurious Golden Cauliflower soup, but their Moroccan Chickpea and Supreme Vegan Chili are close seconds!
Anyways, as I depleted my stash of soups, I was forced to make my own. Now I know soup seems like a relatively easy thing to do, but I find soup never tastes as good when I’m the one making it. Plus, I feel like I’m always fighting a certain blandness, especially with a broth-based soup.
Rummaging through the freezer, I found a package of these awesome Asian dumplings that I discovered in my grocery store’s frozen aisle a while back. Always relatively low in cost (about $2 for a package of 20), I thought I’d give K.J. Foods Inc. dumplings a try. The Chinese script plastered across the package also signalled to me that they might be more authentic, and consequently tastier, than your typical frozen fare. After sampling siu mai, dumplings and buns, I’m telling you that it’s worth it to check out that forgotten frozen section!
Finding a pack of Chicken and Chinese Onion dumplings, I was inspired to make a sort of chicken noodle soup but with a slightly Asian twist, adding just a bit of acidity into the mix.
Starting with your standard mix of onions, carrots and celery, I also added in mushrooms for an earthy taste and an extra bit of heartiness.
After sautéeing and adding stock, I decided to throw in just a splash of vinegar. But, seeing as I didn’t have rice vinegar for a sweeter Asian kick, I settled on apple cider vinegar. Praised as a miracle product for digestive health, I thought the apple cider might also hold the secret key to helping me get over my cold...no harm in at least trying!
After adding my dumplings and having everything simmer for a bit, I finally served myself a nice big bowl of soup. Though I wasn’t expecting a really stellar outcome, the soup turned out to be pretty killer!
Better than your boring chicken noodle, the Asian dumplings were a fun addition to the dish! The vinegar also helped to jazz up an otherwise bland broth, which makes me think that maybe my Western soup recipes aren’t gonna cut it anymore. After all, I have been known to enjoy a Hot and Sour Soup, and there are a lot of flavours and textures going on in that, which kinda makes it hard to settle for a basic consommé afterwards.
My advice to you, pick up some real-deal dumplings and give this recipe a shot. You don’t have to be suffering a cold to enjoy it! It’s guaranteed to warm your insides during the cold winter weather even if you don’t have a lingering cough and cold!
Plus, this is such a simple soup recipe. It really doesn’t take much to put together and it’s pretty standard, despite a few unique additions. Within half an hour, a boiling pot of goodness was in my reach! Don’t you want that too?
Yes? Well, grab a spoon and get ready to change your perceptions of chicken noodle soup! This zesty zinger of a soup is sure to become a winter staple in your home!
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Chicken (Wonton) Noodle Soup
* Makes 2 servings *
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup button mushroom, sliced
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bouillon cube
4 cups water
1 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
Dumplings ( I used half a package, about 10)
Melt butter and oil in a pot over medium high heat.
Add onions, carrots and celery and sautée for five minutes. Toss in garlic and mushrooms, cooking for an additional five minutes.
Sprinkle in salt to help sweat out the veggies. Add in pepper and thyme.
After sautéeing, throw in the bouillon cube and stir.
Add water and apple cider vinegar and bring to boil, before adding in dumplings. Let dumplings boil for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat and let simmer for an additional ten minutes on low heat.
Serve and enjoy!
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Do you have a signature chicken noodle recipe? Share your secret ingredient below!