Asian Style Chicken Soup

Let’s talk about the real reason that I did not cook anything last week.

Settle down, it is not that exciting. Two very minor setbacks collided causing kitchen use to grind to a complete halt.

Problem #1: See all that clutter on my counter?

It could have easily been piled up in one corner of the counter, but what you are looking at are carefully stacked, organized piles of “to do”. Combining the piles was not an option.

That doesn’t look organized to you?

Those piles have clear visual signals to my eyes: “to read”, “to file”, “to pay”, “to mail”, and “to keep for long enough on the counter that you eventually feel absolved of all responsibility to do any of the former”.

I think that last item should be relabeled “to trash”, but let’s not worry too much about semantics.

Problem #2: Way too many masks on the counter.

Chris has a mask problem We have a mask collection, so naturally while we were on vacation, we collected a few new treasures to compliment the 18 fine specimens that are already hanging on our walls.

Hold it! You have 18 masks hanging on your walls?

That’s right folks. They decidedly take up more wall real estate than anything else we own. Thankfully only 9 of them are visible from the living room. It would terrify most small children.

Anyway, these two guys and their third rafiki spent all of last week on the only bit of counter space not already being used in our complex paperwork organization scheme (hidden by Chris in the photos).  

Technically, I could have just moved three items off of our counter and had plenty of space to cook, but trust me, it seemed like an insurmountable task. Instead we survived for a week on dinners of mashed potatoes topped with ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Thankfully, our kitchen is back to normal now and we can resume eating actual meals.

Adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles.


  • 2 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts, 12 to 16 ounces each, cooked and shredded
  • olive oil spray
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used fat-free reduced sodium broth.)
  • 12 ounces shiitakes, stemmed discarded, caps sliced thin (I substituted baby bellas.)
  • 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  • Sauté the leeks, ginger and garlic in a light spray of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until the leeks soften, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the water and broth; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and chicken to the broth mixture and simmer for several more minutes.
  • Stir in the rice vinegar, soy sauce, chile oil, sesame oil, and cilantro.
  • Serve.

Servings ~ 6
Calories ~ 108, Fat ~ 3.6 g, Carbohydrates ~ 9.7 g, Protein ~ 10.4 g

  1. Stephanie said:

    Those pictures of Chris dancing around in the mask are hilarious!
    You need to post pictures of the collection. I am curious to see what other ones you have.

    • Brit said:

      The masks could be an interesting post. I need to remember to photograph them in daylight. Some of them are really cool, some are just downright creepy. We will definitely have kids who have mask-related nightmares someday.

  2. Lisa said:

    Ok – those pictures just crack me up. Funny stuff 🙂 Tasty looking recipe too. I haven’t actually cooked anything (other than in my crock pot) for the last 5 days, so I need to get back with the program. Thanks for suggesting crock pot liners to me; I will have to try and find them!

    • Brit said:

      This soup was really good and easy too! I had a cooking marathon on Sunday, three dishes in three hours. I thought that would take care of that cooking thing for the rest of the week, but we’ve obviously been eating like pigs because our refrigerator is almost empty again just two days later.

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