Soup Name:  Ginseng and Chicken Soup
Traditional Chinese Name: 人參雞湯 (rén sēn jī tāng)

A very traditional Chinese soup that is ideal for the cold winter months and improving body immune system.  You can use a variety of ginseng (Korean and American are most common) and a variety of sizes of ginseng.  It is a simple soup to make that is slightly sweet with a hint of bitterness and extremely beneficial to all body organs.  I make this soup without added pork (like some recipes call for).  I know the soup isn’t ask sweet or as rich, but if you reduce the level of water, it gives you a clear, healthy broth.  With a sprinkle of salt (in moderation), the soup is ready for serving. 

There are actually a variety of ways to make this soup.  You will also find variations where people add different herbal ingredients for targeting different parts of the body.  Regardless, here is a base in which to start your greatest soup creations (of course being careful of what types of herbs you use and being careful how you mix them).

What Ingredients are required?

1 whole chicken (or chicken bones or feet)
80g of ginseng (dried)
3 slices of fresh ginger
2-3 L of water
1-2 teaspoons of salt

How do I prepare it?

  1. Wash and prepare chicken by cutting into quarters (remove organs)
  2. Blanch chicken in a pot of hot water
  3. In a separate pot of water, add all the ingredients together.
  4. Cook over high heat for 30 minutes. 
  5. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Ready to serve!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is considered a warm soup and particularly warming in the winter months
  • Ginseng can help improve body immune system and metabolism

Any precautions?

  • The Chinese believe that your body is either “cool” or “warm”.  Some “warm” bodied people can’t consume too much warm foods as it makes them even more warm.  The idea is to balance the ying and yang in the body