Tea-Flavor Chicken-Walnut Soup

  • images/tea_flavoured_chicken_walnut_soup.jpg

Makes 4-6 servings

Have you had a soup that tasted so good and is also good for you? In China, walnuts are believed to enhance energy and are used in soup as a tonic. The nuts are blanched in water first so their natural color will not darken the broth. Because this recipe calls for no cooking fat, it is important to use chicken with skin to give the broth a rich flavor. Then, if you wish, you can discard the skin when you shred the chicken.

  • 4 dried black mushrooms
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 oolong tea bags
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 chicken leg and thigh, cut apart at leg joint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup shredded jicama or daikon
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak mushrooms in warm water to cover until softened, about 15 minutes; drain. Discard stems and quarter the caps.
  2. In a medium saucepan, cook walnuts in boiling water to cover for 3 minutes. Drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside.
    In the same pan, heat the 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Remove pan from heat, drop in tea bags, and let steep for 4 minutes. Lift out and discard tea bags. Add broth to tea infusion and heat to simmering. Add chicken and ginger; simmer for 10 minutes. Add green onions, jicama, and wine; simmer until chicken is tender, about 15 more minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Shred meat; if desired, thinly slice skin. Return chicken to broth; add walnuts salt, pepper, and sesame oil. Heat to a simmer. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.