Tart and Fresh Southeast Asian Soup Bowl

Tart and Fresh Southeast Asian Soup Bowl

Talk about reclaiming balance, this soup restores souls, is practically fat free and chockablock with veggies. It plays bright tastes of lime, pineapple, cherry tomatoes and chile against each other. Including chopping time, figure on about 30 leisurely minutes to get it to the table.

I've purposely kept to easily-had ingredients, but if available, add to the broth two inches of fresh lemon grass stalk and/or one tablespoon tamarind concentrate. (This is more a collection of guidelines than a recipe.) Save any leftover vegetables for tomorrow night.

Tart & Fresh Southeast Asian Soup Bowl:

Cut up another quarter or third of the chicken, setting skin aside in refrigerator. Toss meat with half a minced jalapeno chile (seeded), 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, and the juice of a small lime. Let stand while you make broth.

Combine in a 3 to 4-quart saucepan 1 can low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth and 1 cup water. Mince together 3 large garlic cloves and 1-1/2 inches peeled fresh ginger root. Add to pan. Boil 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 sweet yellow pepper, cut into small pieces; 1/2 small can water chestnuts, coarsely chopped; a handful of organic spring mix salad greens, chopped green cabbage, chopped bok choy, or spinach; about 10 snow pea pods and 1 small can pineapple chunks in juice (not syrup).

Stir in a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, juice of 1 small lime (or to taste -- soup should be tart with a hint of sweet) and the chicken. Heat a minute or two and serve.

You could cook rice noodles with the ginger and garlic but, for me, the soup is filling and lower in calories without them.

LYNNE'S TIPS

Use food processor for mincing and slicing.

Vegan Soup: Substitute firm tofu for the chicken and vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Use bagged organic spring mix for the soup greens, saving leftovers for tomorrow night's salad. Save leftover water chestnuts and the half pepper as well.

Like it hotter? Leave seeds in the jalapeno.

Like more sweet-sour? Add 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar and/or vinegar.