Chicken Velvet and Spinach Soup

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Credit: Michelle Tam & Henry Fong

This comforting chicken soup uses a technique I learned from an old Ken Hom cookbook for making a delicately fluffy chicken mixture, or velvet, that disperses the finely chopped chicken throughout the broth. This dish always hits the spot when the weather turns cold or I get wistful for Cantonese soups.

Note: This recipe is part of a weekly menu of Paleo meals from Michelle Tam and Henry Fong, the creators of the blog Nom Nom Paleo and authors of several cookbooks, including Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!, where you’ll find this recipe and other delicious Paleo recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 teaspoons

    arrowroot powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    Diamond Crystal kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons

    ice water

  • 1

    egg white

  • 1 tablespoon

    avocado oil, ghee, or fat of choice

  • 1

    large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 pound

    large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

  • 1 (2-inch) piece

    of ginger, peeled and cut into thin coins

  • 3 cloves

    garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 6 cups

    bone broth or chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons

    coconut aminos

  • 1 teaspoon

    Paleo-friendly fish sauce

  • 6 cups

    baby spinach

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Toss the chicken cubes into a food processor and pulse until the chicken is chopped up.

  2. Add the arrowroot powder, salt, ice water, and egg white to the chopped chicken in the food processor bowl.

  3. Process ‘til a velvety paste develops.

  4. Transfer the chicken paste to a large heatproof bowl and set aside.

  5. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the pot is hot, pour in the oil and add the shallot and mushrooms.

  6. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallots are slightly softened.

  7. Toss in ginger and garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.

  8. Pour in the broth. Increase the heat to high to bring the soup to a boil.

  9. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the coconut aminos and fish sauce to the soup. Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.

  10. Add the chicken paste to the broth and break it up with a spatula.

  11. Once the chicken is no longer pink, stir in the spinach. Cook until wilted.

  12. Turn off the heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.

Recipe Notes

Excerpted from Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! © 2022 written & photographed by Michelle Tam & Henry Fong. Reproduced by permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing. All rights reserved.

Michelle Tam

Contributor

Michelle Tam is the co-creator of the Saveur Award-winning food blog, Nom Nom Paleo. Together with her husband, Henry Fong, they’ve also produced a two-time Webby award winning cooking app, authored two New York Times bestselling cookbooks, and have been nominated for a James Beard Award. Their latest cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! will be released on January 18, 2022.

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