“Soup…mom I want soup for dinner tonight.” “Honey it’s 4:45, dinner is in one hour, I’d have to go to the store, blah, blah, blah…” Once I get fixated on something to make nothing will stop me, so off to Trader Joe’s I ran (biked)….whoosh…
I grabbed a bag of frozen wontons and just like that…whoosh…I was back. I tossed together a very quick and “Semi Homemade” soup. I was lucky enough to have some good chicken stock on hand in the freezer, dried mushrooms and fresh spinach. I followed the directions on the bag for making the wontons, tossed in some onion and garlic, ginger, and let it simmer. It was very fast and created a warm light dinner. We can’t all be Super Mom or Super Chef every day and it’s ok, we shouldn’t have to be.
I was busy, getting the rest of our meal together and kidlet was restless so I came up with having her “style” her dinner. She loves tofu, the marinated kind, so I handed her some cookie cutters and tofu and walked away. When I turned back around she had placed the butterfly shapes so perfectly in the soup, I was shocked! She sees me working all the time, she even helps out occasionally on my food styling jobs. I know she has the ability to decorate her food and make it beautiful, now if she would just start making entire meals for us! I’m pretty convinced by now that if they cook it they eat it or in our case, if you decorate it, you eat it.
It helps to have some ingredients on hand for quick dinners these are things I love to keep around:
peeled ginger in the freezer, you can add it to soups,
Cooked marinated tofu
Chicken stock, homemade or boxed
Dried mushroom assortment
Green onions, sliced frozen
Wonton Soup with Tofu Butterflies
I realize that not everyone has a Trader Joe’s market across the street. This recipe is so flexible that you can use just about anything in it. If you can’t get wontons, try Gyoza or just ramen style noodles and cooked chicken. Make this to taste, if your kids need more flavor, add more soy sauce and sesame. Water chestnuts are crunchy and take on the flavor of the dish they are in, try them. Try dried reconstituted mushrooms, they can add great flavor to lots of dishes.1 Bag of Trader Joe’s Frozen mini chicken wontons 1 clove garlic, pressed 2 coins of ginger, peeled 1-2 green onions, sliced thin 1 cup sliced mushrooms 2 Tbs soy sauce 4 cups of Low Sodium Chicken Broth 1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drained 1 tsp sesame oil Handful of spinach, fresh or frozen Teriyaki marinated cooked tofu Salt/Pepper Optional 2 eggs, beaten (see below) Follow directions on the bag of wontons, when cooked, remove and set aside. They should be browned on the bottom and cooked through. In the same pan, add a tablespoon of oil (peanut, or vegetable) sauté garlic, ginger, green onions and mushrooms until dry. Turn heat to medium and add the soy sauce and stir to incorporate. Add chicken broth, and water chestnuts and simmer. Add the mini wontons back, to warm through, add sesame oil serve. Salt and pepper to taste. If adding the beaten egg for and egg drop style soup, add just before the wontons. Slowly stream in the beaten eggs to simmering (not boiling) soup mixture, let simmer untouched 2 minutes. Continue with finishing the recipe.