So we're dealing with a blizzard here in Siberia/Saskatchewan.
Around this time of year I start to wonder how anyone ever lived here pre-electricity and pre-heating. It's cold, it's snowy, it's windy, and since some jackasses killed off all the bison, there's nothing to break the wind but the occasional lost F-350.
When I first moved here, the locals would rag me - 'Hey Easterner - you've never seen a winter 'til you've seen one of ours'. 'Yeah yeah' said foolish-past-me 'Our winters get pretty flippin' cold out east too. And it's a DAMP cold out there.' Well luckily/unfortunately for me, I skipped my first winter here back in 2012 by heading off to Asia to backpack. Then came the winter of 2013 which was about the coldest and most ludicrous thing I've ever lived through. Newscasts would regularly feature 105 year old people talking about how it was the worst winter they could remember. UGH.
Now I don't mind winter if you can DO something in it. But Sask (at least around Regina) is not known for it's mountains, and I am not a cross-country skier. So my snowboard sits in the basement and by early January I start to get the winter blues.
About 20 cm (6 inches? Who understands your crazy imperial system anyway) of snow have fallen in the past few days. And after a balmy -5 Christmas, we're back at the glory that is -24 (not including windchill). I know it won't last forever, but the warm December we had had me thinking we'd tricked Santa into cancelling winter (that's how it works, right?).
So here your forlorn author sits. Alone. Slightly irate. Although not nearly as irate as this guy. So when one is housebound (albeit by choice), and surrounded by nothing but snowflakes and icy wind, it seems like making soup is a great idea.
I wanted warm, I wanted spicy, I wanted exotic, and I wanted it now. So I made giant bowl of chicken zoodle soup, heavily influenced by sriracha. Yup. I have made you sriracha soup. I know, I love you too.
I put an egg in this for awesomeness. The soup is way more aggressively coloured in real life - putting orange soup into blue glass bowls means it turns a really appetizing shade of brown in photographs. My love of coloured glass may have to remain separate from my sad attempts at food photography.
While I used chicken and chicken stock and fish sauce, you can easily omit the fish sauce and use veggie stock and fun chopped plant-things to make this vegetarian. I even saw veggie 'fish' sauce at my Asian grocery store the other day! While I haven't tried it - it is definitely a thing that exists.
4 cups of chicken stock. You can make your own (yum!), or just get some sweet ass bouillon/weird little cube things simmering in some water.
1.5 cup of shredded/roughly chopped cooked chicken
3 tbsp cilantro, minced
1 green onion, minced
1 cup of mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sriracha
1 zucchini SPIRALIZED. Yep, I bought a spiralizer. Zucchini noodles for all! If you don't feel like making 'zoodles' - you can easily substitute a good handful of rice noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, or whatever you've got handy. Note: if you're using noodles - pre cook them and just toss them in at the end OR simmer them in the soup for about 5 minutes/whatever cooking time your noodles require.
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cayenne/spicy chili powder/paste of your choice
1 egg (optional) - I've had this both with the egg cracked directly in the soup - and with a hard boiled egg for photographing. If you're OK with egg in your soup - crack that badboy right in there. It makes it rich and creamier and all around fantastic.
lime slices for garnish.
other things you will need:
a soup pot for cookin'
knife and cutting board for your prep work
a small sauce pan
a bowl and spoon for eating
- In your soup pot, combine your chicken stock, chicken, half your cilantro, half your green onion, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar, and sriracha.
- Simmer on medium high for 20 minutes or so.
- In your small pan, heat your oil and add your chili powder. Sautee lightly for two minutes or so until the oil and chili is thoroughly combined.
- Combine your chili oil and your soup stock in the larger pan, and add your mushrooms. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve your soup in bowl, with a handful of zoodles in each. Crack an egg in each for a yummy, creamy, eggy experience, and top with remaining cilantro and green onions. Add a little more sriracha if you like, and allow soup to sit for 3 minutes.
- Stir it up and EAT IT LIKE THE BOSS YOU ARE. Take that winter!