ginger chicken soup

Ginger Chicken Soup with Kale and Thai Basil

It’s no secret that things can get pretty out of hand, food-wise, during December. Try to remember that it doesn’t all have to go to hell in a handbasket just because you ate a whole tin of peppermint bark while watching Elf last night and fully intend to dive into the Ruffles and onion dip at the office party tomorrow. In an effort to strive for balance, I offer you this Ginger Chicken Soup with Thai Basil, it is full of flavor but will actually aid in the digestion of heavier holiday fare.

Ginger is a wonderful thing to incorporate into your diet, especially this time of year. Not only does it soothe stomach ailments but it also is known to relieve cold and cough symptoms and reduce inflammation, often caused by excess sugar. This soup is packed with veggies and protein from the chicken so it’s all you need for a healthy lunch or light dinner.

So, go ahead and indulge! I certainly intend to. This year though, I’m going to try to add lots of walking, green salads and soups such as this so I can actually enjoy it.

Ginger Chicken Soup with Kale and Thai Basil
10 – 12 servings

1 TB olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 – 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 TB ginger root, grated or finely chopped
2 – 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
*2 cups chicken, cooked, chopped or shredded
12 crimini mushrooms, sliced
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 TB Thai Basil, sliced thin, reserve 1 TB for garnish
2 cups curly kale, sliced thin
3/4 cup scallions (green onion), sliced thin, reserve 1/4 cup for garnish

* You may use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken (easy but higher in sodium) or use baked or poached chicken breasts.

Chop onion, celery, and carrots.

Add to olive oil in large Dutch oven or stock pot on medium-high heat and saute with salt and pepper until veggies begin to soften.

Use a Microplane to grate ginger root or chop finely with a sharp knife.

Add ginger and garlic to veggies.

Stir in and cook for a couple minutes.

Add chicken

and mushrooms. Stir and cook another minute or two.

Add chicken stock.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook for @ 10 – 15 minutes or until veggies are cooked through but still firm.

Meanwhile, slice kale and Thai basil in long, thin strips (also called chiffonade).

Add kale and 1 TB Thai basil to the soup pot.

Add 1/2 cup scallions.

Bring soup back to a simmer and cook until the kale has wilted but is still bright green. Taste it, add more salt & pepper as needed.

Serve immediately, garnish with reserved Thai basil and scallions. Refrigerate or freeze leftover soup.

I think Buddy the Elf has the right idea!
“First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll snuggle.”
From the movie Elf

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