Congee Soup

Makes enough for 6

This is said to be Chinese chicken soup, though of course, it is only one kind of Chinese chicken soup. But it’s a wonderfully flavorful winter soup.

Kombu is a Japanese seaweed that comes in sticks. It’s usually available at Asian markets, or at natural food stores. Kombu is a good additive when you want to increase the nutritional value of a vegetarian meal. The recipe calls for long cooking but you can eat it with pleasure after about ½ hour of simmering.

½ pound (500 g) Chicken breast, cubed

½ tsp cumin seed

½ cup brown rice (or brown and wild rice mix)

½ medium onion, sliced

3 medium celery stalks, with leaves, chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

3 tbsp sliced ginger or to taste

1 stick Kombu

1 bunch kale, collards, or other greens, chopped

6 cups (1.5 l) chicken or vegetable broth

2 tbsp ghee or olive oil

1 tbsp kosher salt

  1. In a large soup pot with a heavy bottom, heat the oil and sauté the onion and cumin in the oil.
  2. Add the carrots and chicken and sauté until the chicken begins to turn color.
  3. Add the broth, ginger, kombu and celery. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat or transfer to a slow cooker or crock pot, cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours. Add liquid if necessary to keep consistency hearty but not thick.
  5. Before serving, remove the kombu, slice it in strips and return to the pot.
  6. Chop the greens, stir into the pot and cook for about 5 minutes and serve.

Serve with: corn bread, tortillas, chupatis

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