It’s been rainy and cold(ish)! This is not something most people get emotional or excited about. For us native Angelinos, this like snow on Christmas morning.
But most act like it’s the end of days. Our friend Noah came over yesterday and suddenly people started lining up two by two at our door asking if this was his ark and were we preparing for the flood… And the highways, don’t even get me started! That’s a death sentence- and not because people start driving like maniacs, but because they just stop driving! Los Angelinos are usually terrible drivers- I don’t know if it’s all the yoga or medtiation or auditions or self-help workshops or the air- whatever it is makes them think they’re the only ones on the road. I could go on, I really could, but I’ll spare you.
That’s how little we know weather around here. But for two grandpa-sweater-loving and thick wooly-sock-wearing girls — it’s heaven. I want to wake up to the pitter patter of rain every morning, with my roommate/housewife/plutonic life partner standing at my bedside with a hot cup of coffee waiting for me. And the fact that neither of us can figure out how to use the huge heater that sticks out from our living room wall, makes ‘winter’ feel all the more real (if you can call this slight seasonal change in LA winter).
p.s. The 10-day weather forecast here is low 70s and bright California sunshine. But girls can dream! And bundle themselves in socks and sweaters, close the drapes, and pretend there’s a thunder storm knocking at our door.
- 1 whole chicken or thighs only, approximately 4 pounds
- 2 yellow or white onions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound (add more or less, your choice) Raw Shrimp peeled, deveined (optional)
- 2 heads baby bok choy
- 1 bunch spinach
- handful of mushrooms
- 3-5 green onions
- 1 bunch dried seaweed (wakame, kombu. Nori is not ideal, go for something hearty that will hold its own in a soup)
- 1 bunch bean sprouts
- chicken pieces from making stock
- soy sauce
- chili paste
- white miso paste
- additional flavoring agents: ponzu sauce, toasted sesame oil, sriracha
1. Take a large pot and fill with about 6 quarts of water
2. Place uncooked chicken (whole or whatever you like. I usually do whole but this time we had thighs, which will take less time to cook), in pot with 1 or 2 large yellow onions
3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a mild simmer
4. Cook until chicken is done (not pink), usually about 2-3 hrs. (Depending on size/amount/parts of chicken)
5. Remove chicken, let cool. Debone and separate into pieces. Place chicken back into broth
6. Remove onions. Let cool. Cut them into whatever size you like. They won’t be very firm so they often separate easily and naturally, so it’s usually better to just leave them as bigger pieces. Add back to broth
7. Add in uncooked shrimp, simmer shrimp in broth for 3 minutes, until pink and opaque. If using pre-cooked frozen shrimps, cook until heated through. Do not over cook shrimp, they will continue to cook as more ingredients are added to the soup.
IMPORTANT: We made the mistake of making a huge batch of the broth and throwing in ALL the vegetables and noodles. You may already be the wiser, but for us only afterwards did we realize how soggy everything would get and not be great for leftovers. So add veggies and noodles for the amount you’re serving. Save the broth and cook up more yummies the next day.
8. Take however much broth you’ll be serving for the meal and pour it in a sauce pan
9. Add the miso and other spices/sauces to taste
10. Add your veggies. Cook mushrooms first as they take slightly longer, then add in bok choy and spinach
11. Add in noodles, cook according to package. We used fresh noodles from the fridge section that called for a 3 minute cook time. and seaweed just before serving
12. Serve soup in large bowls perfect for cuddling to your chest. Garnish with bean sprouts and chopped green onions. Slurp soup right out of the bowl and pretend LA has a winter, wool grandpa sweaters and fuzzy socks optional.