The past week has been pretty bizarre. Between the cold “summer” weather and my cold earlier in the week, I am about ready for a vacay. Luckily, I will be jetsetting off to Portugal for my first solo adventure this Wednesday! I am excited and a little nervous. It’s my first solo trip, and a part of me is afraid I can’t spend almost 2 week all by my lonesome. But growth doesn’t happen without challenge right?
Whenever I’m sick, I always gravitate towards childhood comfort foods. One thing that my mom made for me as a child (and even now) is a herbal chicken soup with dried Chinese ingredients. The “herbal” essence of this soup comes from drying these ingredients out. I’m not really sure why this gives the soup the flavor it does, but it’s for sure healthy, heartwarming, and pretty darn good.
The dried ingredients that I used were dried mushrooms, dried shrimp, and dried dragon eye. You may be asking: what is dragon eye? It is a tropical fruit that is popular in Asian countries. You might have heard it be called longan. This is the Chinese word for it, and it literally translates to dragon eye. The fruit has a light brown shell with a clear fruit on the inside and a dark brown seed in the center. Here is a Wikipedia link if you want to read more.
Dried Chinese ingredients have a lot of dirt and dust on them, so it’s important that you soak them for multiple hours. I soaked my ingredients for 2 hours, but I could have let them sit for more time. I just got a little tired and hungry. 🙂 Thankfully, these ingredients are packed with flavor, so I didn’t need to add too many additional ingredients to finish off the soup.
Herbal Chicken SoupPrint Recipe
- 1 cup dried mushrooms
- 1/4 cup dried shrimp
- 1/4 cup dried dragon eye
- 1 tablespoon ginger
- 1 pound chicken (chopped into small pieces)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
Put the dried mushroom dried shrimp, and dried dragon eye in a bowl of water to soak for at least 2 hours. The longer they soak the more tender the ingredients will be.
Add the chicken to a small soup pot and fill it up with water so it just covers the chicken. Bring the water to a boil and scoop away any impurities that you see.
Add in the dried ingredients, ginger, salt, and pepper and let it simmer for 1 hour. Check on the soup every 15 minutes and scoop away any impurities that you see.
After the soup has been simmering for an hour, add in 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon. Let the soup simmer for another 30 minutes.
The soup should be done at this point. Taste the soup to make sure there is enough seasoning. Add salt if it tastes bland.