Asian Chicken Soup: winter gives way to summer, again

My summer odyssey continues. Spurred on by Friday’s prawn salad, I was bitten by the summer food bug this evening. With just four free-range, local farm-raised chicken breasts and a half of Swedish-grown Chinese cabbage (just about the last in season) to my name, I was inspired to knock up a cunningly simple, devilishly good Asian chicken soup.

Before the annual, near-incandescent coat of snow falls here on the top of the world, late afternoon can be a dark and miserable affair. On my train journey home, speeding through the ink-black blanket of frozen night, my craving for fresh, summer-flavours revisited me like the ghost of July past.

From my paltry (and poultry) haul from the depths of my fridge, was born this night, inspiration for a soup of such light and refreshing flavour, that winter would be all but forgotten.

Sounds like a plan. The execution of said plan was so simple, I wonder why we don’t eat this delicacy on a daily basis.

A little bubbling stock, some chicken and a few greens. Can’t be more simple

The basis of the soup is chicken stock – the best you can find; ideally homemade. I wasn’t so lucky, so used stock cubes, which, at a push, work fine. Stock-cube stock lacks the clarity and clean flavour of fresh, but beggars can’t be choosers.

When you have your stock bubbling away nicely, then it is just to add your flavours. Like boiling vegetables, you simply throw it all in, give it a quick simmer and you are done. Simple, fresh and delicious. Who needs winter, I say. Not me.

Normal winter service will resume shortly, but for now it’s the summery flavours of Asian chicken soup


Asian Chicken Soup

4 portions


  • 2 litres chicken stock (fresh, homemade is best)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about the size of a small fist, cut into six
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, cut in half lengthways
  • 4 chicken breasts cut into dice-size cubes
  • 1 smal head Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped, or 4 tsp. dried coriander
  • 3 tsp. Japanese rice vinegar


Bring the stock to the boil, add the lime, lemon grass and ginger and reduce to a slow simmer. Cook for 5-7 minutes and remove the lime, lemon grass and ginger. This gives the stock a delicious, citrus edge

Add the chicken and simmer for a further 5 minutes

Add the onion and cabbage and coriander (if using dried). Cook for 5 minutes more

If using fresh coriander, add it now, stir and serve immediately

  • Australia Visa

    I haven’t tried this soup before. That might be delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I will try it in this weekend.

    • robhincks

      hope you liked it

  • Janerowena

    I was wondering if it is an age thing, that each winter seems to last longer than the last one. Thinking back to childhood, I barely seemed to notice the changing of the seasons. Strangely, I too hauled out a bag of prawns last Friday, I reduced some olive oil, white wine and garlic and lemon and poached them in it briefly before mixing it all into a mixed salad, served with bread. I needed that crunchy texture.

    • robhincks

      the prawns sound lovely. The ageing, not so

  • Event Venues London

    OK, now this looks like chicken has not been cooked. But I believe this dish is so high in nutritious. Anyway I like to try this out. Maybe I will cook this for today’s diner.

    • robhincks

      The chicken was well and truly cooked, I can assure you. It’s probably a combination of my lights and my phone camera that makes it look a little pink

  • Rocky Jinnah

    hi there, i will try this soup for sure but i need to tell u that u should also give recipes of some indian food . thanks

    • robhincks

      It’s on my list

  • Monica-USA

    Looks delicious.

    • robhincks

      tasted delicious