People who live where it really gets cold talk about “loving four seasons”. Phoenix has four seasons too, you just have to look a little a little harder since you don’t have things like snow to make a point of winter, or a bunch of leaves suddenly turning red because you had your first frost. I will admit that fall is the hardest season to detect in Phoenix, but today it finally seemed like summer is behind us. We have had some clues: Halloween decorations are starting to show up in front yards, they are starting on the long process of putting Christmas lights up on Chandler (which they fortunately do not light until after Thanksgiving), but this was the first weekend we actually had the air conditioners off in the middle of the afternoon! Which means that maybe we can actually start thinking about soups and stews… even if it still supposed to be back to the high 90’s next week.
Here is a very quick soup to make – it really only takes about a ½ hour, and its packed with protein and is a bit different.
Chinese Chicken and Corn Soup
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons dry sherry
½ teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons cornstarch (divided)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon thinly shredded fresh ginger
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 quart chicken broth
1 package firm tofu (12 – 14 ounces), cut into ½ inch squares
1 ½ cups frozen corn
½ cup thinly sliced green onions
A bit more sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice breast crosswise into ½ inch strips. In a small bowl, mix chicken with wine, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium high heat, add the garlic and ginger, then add the chicken mixture. Let cook for a while, stir (yes, this will stick to the pan*, use a sharp spatula).
When chicken is brown, add broth and bring to a boil. Add the tofu and corn and return mixture to boil.
In a small bowl, blend remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch and ¼ cup water until smooth, add to soup and stir until it returns to a boil. In the same small bowl, beat egg to blend, then pour slowly into soup, stirring to form thin strands. Add green onions, a bit more sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
* original recipe recommends a non-stick pan, but I don’t have any non-stick pots (just my 10-inch sauté pan which is routinely used for eggs).