Something perfect for you rainy days.
It has been raining for the past few days from where I am from. And it got me thinking of what could be perfect for another cozy day like this.
I have always been fascinated about mushrooms. How they thrive in the most uncanny places and how they could either be really good for you or could be deadly. It interests me how through all the people who have lived before us have had to endure to discover if a specific mushroom was good for consumption or it meant they were taking their last breath as they chew on a specific fungi. If not for these explorers who have taken the risk of trying these out, we would be missing out a whole lot on mushrooms. They have this distinct flavor in them and just has their own umami taste.
They are not either an animal or a vegetable - they are fungi. They’re called the “good guys” of nature. They are even considered to symbolize immortality for ancient Egyptians and have been this essential part of Chinese medicine. Today, people value mushrooms all the more because they are low in fat and high in vitamins and proteins. (Rowe, 2015)
There are lots of ways to cook and enjoy mushrooms. But for this recipe, we are specifically using enoki mushrooms as the main ingredient because why not.
I wanted something quick to make with easily accessible ingredients. To be honest, you could run to your nearest K-mart and you could purchase all these ingredients and whip this up in your own home in less than 15 minutes. Making this soup is extremely easy you won’t even break a sweat.
Let’s get to it!
How to make this warm hug in a bowl
- In a heated sauce pan, add in your cooking oil and let that heat for a few seconds. Once it is hot enough, drop your sliced onions and let that cook for a while as you slice your tomatoes. Let these onions caramelize for a bit.
2. Once you can already have a good whiff of those onions caramelising, you can now add in your sliced tomatoes. Let these cook while you slice your onion leeks.
3. Add in your onion leeks. Other recipes require spring onions you can add at the latter part. But for this one, I have decided to use onion leeks because I simply love the subtlety of its mild flavor as compared to spring onions. Let this cook for about 3 minutes or so.
4. You my now add your enoki mushrooms. Enoki mushrooms are usually in vacuum-sealed plastic bags when you purchase them from the grocery. If you leave them in the fridge for too long, they tend to get slimy and could have some contamination. To avoid this, soonest you bring them home, you can open up the bag, brush off some dirt, and place in a brown paper bag.
Mix and let it cook with your other ingredients for about 3 minutes. As you do this, heat some water.
5. Pour in about 4 cups of hot boiling water onto your mix.
Drop in your chicken cubes (if you’re using liquid broth, make sure your ratio of broth to water is 2 is to 1. 2 parts broth and 1 part water. And so on.) Let your cubes dissolve in and mix well.
6. Add in your pepper and chili garlic sauce. We love adding a bit of spice and heat into soup just because. So obviously you have that option to either add more spices or just completely take it out. I know for sure that’s what my grandmother would prefer.
Here’s what your soup would ideally look like. That color is from the tomatoes. That is another reason I have decided to add some tomatoes into this recipe. It serves as this good acid-base that helps amplify the other flavors of your dish.
This recipe makes 4 to 5 servings.
Definitely felt like a warm hug.
Things you can add or substitute for that same umami taste:
- You can replace your enoki mushrooms with shiitake or portobello mushrooms - sliced thinly.
- Instead of replacing your enoki mushrooms, feel free to add on other mushrooms and simply have a richer, more flavorful mushroom soup instead.
- Instead of fresh whole tomatoes, you may opt to use about a teaspoon or two of tomato paste. Might be more pungent and striking, but you can mellow it down by just adding more water.
- Diced potatoes also make a nice addition to soups like these. Adding potatoes help make the spicy flavors softer to the taste and just creates a good balance.
- Spring onions can be an add on or could be used as garnish.
- Try our different soup stocks! You can use hot pot soup broths and explore. Highly recommend you try out collagen or seafood broth.
- There is also an option to add noodles onto your soup. I recommend misua noodles as they are very light and perfect for soup.
- Other dried herbs - depending on what flavors you personally like. Oregano or thyme make a good match for this recipe as well.