wonton soup

Wonton Soup

Wonton Soup

With a chill in the air today, I decided to make wonton soup. It is one of my childhood favorites. Wonton soup is actually not that hard to make, and everyone seems to like it.

For me, Wonton soup always brings back memories of going out for Chinese food with my family, when I was a kid. The restaurant would serve it family style, and my mom or dad would ladle out everyone’s soup. It always looked and smelled wonderful. Tasted wonderful, too. Even more special, because we only had it when we out to dinner.

The one problem I find when trying to make this soup at home is finding wonton wrappers that are thick enough. The square ones I find at the neighborhood grocery store are OK, but thinner than the ones in Wonton  Soup at a restaurant. At a local Asian grocery I have found round wrappers that are labelled for dumplings and are thicker. That is what I used. They worked out better. I normally add strips of roast pork to wonton soup, but one of my friends doesn’t eat pork, so the use of chicken thighs was a great substitute. You can play around with fillings, too. I often add shrimp as both a filling, and to the soup itself.

Wonton Soup

1½ lb. chicken
1 head bok choy, or 4-5 baby bok choy
3 T. hoisen sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
24 won ton wrappers
2 qts. chicken stock
1 t. ginger
1 t. hot pepper sauce
Chopped green onions
Sesame oil

Bake the chicken until cooked. I used boneless chicken thighs, but even leftover roasted chicken would work. Once cooled, I minced enough of the chicken to give me 1 cup of meat. The rest I cut into thin strips. I then took stems from the bok choy and minced enough of them to make 1 cup. Combine the minced chicken with minced bok choy, the hoisen and the garlic. This is the filling for your wontons. Slice more of the bok choy- using mainly the leaves, into thin shreds. This will go into the soup later, along with the strips of chicken. You should have at least a couple of cups of the shredded bok choy, but more is OK, too. To make the wontons place one on your work surface and spoon a rounded teaspoon of the filling into the middle of it. Moisten edge with water, fold in half and press to seal. I used round wrappers, but square wrappers are fine, too. Repeat with remaining wontons and fillings until done. Bring stock to a boil and add the ginger and hot sauce. Add the wontons to the simmering stock. Simmer gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the strips of chicken and the shredded bok choy greens. Cook about 5-6 minutes longer. Finish soup with chopped green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serves 6-8.

Won Ton Soup

Won Ton Soup

Won Ton Soup

Still in the mood for Chinese food so I made  a version of Won Ton Soup. I had some leftover won ton wrappers so I filled them with chicken. Simmered them in chicken stock and added spinach at the last minute. Not a traditional Won Ton Soup, but I had to work with what I had. It tasted good so that is what matters in the end.

Won Ton Soup

24 Won ton wrappers

1 c. cooked chicken

1/4 c. minced celery

1 t. soy sauce

1 t. sesame oil

4 c. chicken stock

4 c. fresh spinach

Combine chicken with the celery, soy sauce and sesame oil. Place 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture in the center of a won ton wrapper. Moisten edges and fold in half to form a triangle. Press edges to seal. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Heat stock and add the wrappers and spinach and cook until heat through and spinach is cooked, about 5 minutes. Serves 2-3.

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