Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Soupe Chinoise - Chinese Soup

Since we started taking our children out for Phõ, they have been more into big bowl of soups. Not the Velouté d’épinards or the Soupe aux Poireaux I tend to make but the big bowls of soup that are Phõ-like. Since I have not looked for a recipe for Phõ yet (any suggestions?), I have been making my own "Soupe Chinoise" as we like to call it. And since while traveling through China once, I saw French cookies that looked nothing like French cookies to me, I don’t mind calling this soup a Soupe Chinoise even if it does not come close to an authentic Chinese soup.

My children love this soup : they like the idea of playing with chopsticks, adding toppings, diving for pieces of chicken (or shrimp), being adventurous and adding a few drops of hot sauce, etc. What they like best though is to slurp their noodles. For once they are allowed to make noise while eating something! And we explain to them that it’s perfectly accepted in some Asian countries to slurp your noodles. “Ohlalala, c’est super,” exclaimed my daughter. My son could not be happier and he would make as much noise as possible while slurping his noodles, which has the immediate effect of making us all laugh. And there is nothing more pleasant than a family dinner with laughter all around. Tant pis if the kitchen table looks like a someone just got out the shower without drying themselves a little bit (it happens often in my family and not just with the younger generation !) Tant pis. Because we all enjoyed a meal together and that’s what’s the most important!
The beauty of this Soupe Chinoise is that you can make it the way you want and build it up for your children. You just need broth (chicken, beef or vegetables), proteins (chicken, shrimp, tofu, beef), Asian noodles (rice or wheat), vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, Napa cabbage, bok choy, onions), extra toppings (fried onions, chive, cilantro), seasoning (sesame oil, hot sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce) and you are all set. Be creative! Let your children be creative and experiment (even with chopsticks!). Let them slurp their noodles and slurp yours too! It would make them laugh… and chances are your Soupe Chinoise (or whatever you call it) will be one of their favorite dish! Bon Appétit!
- 6 cups (750ml) of water
- 1 bouillon (chicken or vegetables)
- 2 TB (30ml) Fish Sauce
- 2 TB (30ml) Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- Carrots, pealed and sliced
- Napa Cabbage (or bok choy), cut into small pieces.
- 1 small onion, minced
- chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- Asian Noodles (I prefer wheat noodles but rice noodles would make it gluten-free)
- Chive (for topping)

  • In a saute pan, saute the onion, the carrots and onion in Soy Sauce
  • Add Chicken and cook until chicken is fully cooked
  • Bring water to a boil. Add bouillon and fish sauce
  • Add noodles and cook noodles in the stock.
  • Add vegetables and chicken.
  • Serve in large bowls topped with chive, raw onion bits and raw cabbage.
  • Serve with hot sauce/sesame oil, etc...

My Personal Comments:
  •  I like to put raw cabbage on top of the soup for crunchiness
  •  I personally like the chicken version better than the shrimp version.
  •  Don't hesitate to put more fish sauce/soy sauce if you like a stronger taste.


  1. What a fun idea! I haven't seen this before- it's very clever- a winner.

  2. Looks yummy. In fact, I'll try it next I have company which includes vegetarians, allergies, etc. Of course, I'll use vegetable broth and rice noodles but the idea of build your own soup is wonderful.

  3. I adore slurping my noodles and I'm a grown-up! Sort of. Anyway, this looks like a wonderful, easy homey version of those big noodle soups that I love. Perfect weeknight dinner fun!