Chicken Soup Around the World (Slideshow)
April 23, 2014
Southern-Style Chicken & Dumplings
The U.S. take on chicken soup comes in many varied options, from chicken noodle soup to just plain spicy chicken broth with ginger and mint (particularly wonderful when you’ve been under the weather), but a childhood favorite across the nations is arguably creamy chicken and dumplings. Thick and creamy with an aromatic and heavy broth, tons of cream, and great big chunks of juicy chicken, everyone and their mom has their own favorite way of making it.
Congee/ Jook — Asia/China
This mushy, soupy rice porridge is common in Asia and enjoyed by everyone from infants to the elderly right across the subcontinent in various forms from China to India. Its palatable texture is easy to adapt to different tastes and for different flavors and it’s common to mix it with other ingredients like chicken for a heartier, more comforting meal.
Pho Ga — Vietnam
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat. Pho is a popular street food in Vietnam and the specialty of a number of restaurant chains around the world. Beef is the most well-known addition to this soup, but chicken is also used… in fact, chicken is growing in popularity as an addition to this delicate soup because of its rich flavor and texture.
Ajiaco — Columbia
The wonder of this traditional Colombian soup is the trio of creamy local potatoes (from waxy to starchy) that is uses as its base. The rest is simple: just add all the ingredients into a big pot, chicken included, and boil it. As the soup simmers, the potatoes break down completely, thickening the soup to a creamy consistency with a luxurious buttery flavor. The waxy potatoes actually stay intact to add texture and give you something to chew along with chicken. Guascas, a native mountain herb with an aroma somewhere in between bay leaf, catnip, and parsley, is also added to give the whole dish a distinct flavor. It’s often served with tangy sour cream for richness and capers that add a tang to cut through the rib-sticking broth.
Chicken-Udon — Japan
Thick Japanese udon noodles are usually eaten in a hot soup with vegetables and meat, often chicken. The broth is usually transparent and fragrant, spiced up with star anise. A touch of dry rice wine deepens the broth's flavor.
Tom Khan Kai — Thailand
This Thai version of chicken soup is aromatic and exotic but easy to make because it uses so many ingredients common to traditional Thai cuisine. Lemon grass, galangal root, and lime leaves, the trio of flavors that give many Thai soups their distinctive taste, are usually left in the soup though they really shouldn’t be eaten. What you should eat is the delicious broth and juicy pieces of tender chicken added at the end.
Doro Wat — Ethiopia
This traditional Ethiopian chicken stew is hearty, packed with earthy flavors, and incredibly popular in homes and restaurants across the country. It’s often quite spicy and is made by simmering tender chicken pieces in a spicy broth with a splash of deep red wine. Often potatoes and hard-boiled eggs are added. Big flavors that add to the chicken include ginger, garlic, and a special mixture of aromatic local spices.
Posole Verde — Mexico
Also called pozole verde, this soup is an attention grabber, not least for its bright green color! Pozole has been enjoyed for centuries in Mexico since the time of the Aztecs and today is also served as a white or red soup (all the colors of the Mexican flag). The green soup is made with tomatillos, garlic, chili, and toasted and puréed pumpkin seed. Shredded chicken is often added right at the end before serving.
Kahlsuppe, Cabbage & Chicken Soup — Germany
Germans have a gift for creating flavorful dishes with cabbage. With big, shredded green cabbage leaves, broth-soaked potatoes, and tart crunchy apply for added zing, this cabbage soup is a local favorite. Shredded chicken and even chicken sausage is added to round it all off. Enjoy scooping it up with big hunks of pumpernickel bread.
Avgolemono — Greece
This incredible dish is an egg-lemon soup often made with a chicken broth and served with big pieces of chicken, a drop of cream, and a splay of lemon on top. The Greeks eat avgolemono chilled in the summer and cooked with rice and dished up piping hot in the winter. Many Greeks swear by its comforting and healing effects, particularly helpful after a night spent overindulging in a little too much local Ouzo.