]If you have leftovers from the weekends and holidays like I did, then you can easily make a huge stockpot of soup. From the past weekend, I had a ton of leftover chicken, pork, vegetables and even egg whites from the desserts I baked.
The cold blast of winds and chilly nights guided me to make soup. We needed the warmth, too. The sky was overcast with dark clouds and the temperature dived – a clear indication we were about to get snow.
Making the soup base was easy. It was also the most important part of the soup and affected the flavors later on. I did a quick braising of the chicken breasts in the stockpot and flavored it with onions, garlic and “patis” (Filipino fish sauce). My usual way of thickening the broth was to add rice wash or ‘hugas bigas’, a Filipino cooking tip I learned as a child. I’ve explained this method in previous blog posts. All you have to do is collect the water from washing the rice a second time. A cup or two of rice wash adds a certain body to the broth, giving it a silky feel.
I did all these in no time and while the soup was simmering slowly on the stove, with the savory aromas of chicken and onions floating around, I started to put away the trimmings from the tree. The rest of the Christmas décor around the house came down, too. This is the part of Christmas that leaves me with pangs of sadness.
By the time I got to storing the holiday trim away, my sons had left, having gone back to the far away cities they live and work in. There is no substitute for the tinge of loneliness after seeing my sons drive away, watching their car get smaller and smaller down the road from our house. But such is life. It is a continuous cycle of beginning and ending, with interesting middle parts in between. We take the happy with the sad and hope that another event or occasion will soon bring the family together again to share warm bowls of soup like these and feast on a scrumptious home cooked meal.
Chicken Noodle Egg Drop Soup with Pork and Vegetables
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- 2 cloves peeled, minced garlic
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 Tablespoons patis or fish sauce
- 1.5 pounds sliced in strips, chicken breast (boneless)
- 32 ounces or about 4 cups organic organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 to 6 cups some parts water, some rice water water or rice water
- 250 gms. shaped into small meatballs, about 1/4-inch sizes ground pork
- 1 cup before blanching (expands to 2 cups after boiling with broth; from Asian markets) fresh Chinese yellow noodles (pre-boiled)
- 1 to 2 drops about 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper powder
- from 4 to 6 eggs slightly beaten egg whites
- 2 cups shredded slices bok choy or napa cabbage
- To make the soup stock or broth : in a large stock pot, over medium high heat, add the cooking oil. Saute the garlic, onions and celery. Add the patis or fish sauce and boneless chicken breast. Pour the organic soup stock and water or “hugas bigas” (rice wash). Cover and let the broth come to a boil. Then lower heat to a medium. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes or till the chicken is thoroughly cooked and there are no pink parts at all.
- Add the pork meatballs into the soup stock that is simmering. Cover and let the pork cook for about 20 minutes.
- Separately, in a small stockpot filled with boiling water, add the amount of fresh Chinese egg noodles needed for this recipe. Blanch for 2 minutes. Remove noodles and drain water. Add the noodles into the soup stock pot with the boiled chicken.
- The Chinese noodles will plump up in less than 5 minutes. Add sesame oil. Pour beaten egg whites into the soup mixture. Mix well so that egg white strands coat the noodles and swirl around the broth.
- Season with salt and black pepper powder. Cover and continue simmering over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes more.
- Lastly, add the bok choy or napa cabbage shredded slices. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes till greens soften. Serve the soup piping hot.
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