the appetizer:

The New Book of Soups by The Culinary Institute of America, includes recipes like Chicken Broth; Paraguayan Dumpling Soup (Bori-Bori); Minguichi (Michoacàn Chile and Cheese Soup); and Soto Ayam (Indonesian Chicken, Noodle, and Potato Soup).



Soto Ayam
(Indonesian Chicken, Noodle, and Potato Soup)

Makes 8 servings

Soto Ayam


Don't let the long list of ingredients and steps deter you from making this soup. It's truly delicious and not all that much trouble to make, despite appearances. Any of the ingredients you can't find at your supermarket are available at Asian groceries. To crush the aromatic ingredients, cover with a piece of plastic wrap and smash with the bottom of a heavy pot or skillet.

  • 1 small chicken (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, bottom 4- or 5 inches only, crushed
  • 1 garlic elove, crushed
  • One 1-inch slice fresh ginger, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1-1/2 qt Chicken Broth
  • 1-1/4 cups diced yellow or white potatoes
  • 1 oz dried mung bean threads ("cellophane noodles")
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp red chili or hot bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1-1/2 celery stalks, diced

For Garnish

  • Fried Shallots (below)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

1. Remove the giblets from the chicken; discard or save the liver for another use. Wash the chicken and rub it with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the chopped shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric. Cook, stirring constantly, until the aroma is apparent, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

3. Combine the broth and remaining 1-1/2 teaspoons salt with the chicken, giblets, and shallot mixture in a soup pot. Bring to a simmer and cool, until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 45 minutes. Skim often to remove the foam that rises to the surface during simmering.

4. Remove the chicken from the broth and, when cool enough to handle, remove the bones from the chicken. Return the bones to the broth and continue to simmer for another hour, skimming as needed. Meanwhile, dice the chicken meat and set aside.

5. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and spread the potatoes in a single layer to cool.

6. Soak the beans threads in hot water to cover until tender, about 5 minutes.

Rinse and separate the strands under cool running water. Chop into 2-inch pieces and set aside.

7. When the broth has simmered for an hour, strain it through a fine sieve. Mix the soy sauce, chili paste, and sugar together; stir into the strained broth.

8. Add the diced chicken meat, cooked potatoes, soaked bean threads, scallions, chopped eggs, and celery to the broth. Bring to a simmer and add a squeeze of lemon to taste.

9. Serve the soup in heated bowls, garnished with the fried shallots. Pass the lemon wedges on the side.


Fried Shallots

Makes 8 garnish servings

These crispy shallots are the finishing touch for several soups in this book, and are an great-looking and flavorful garnish. If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the temperature of the oil by adding 1 shallot ring. If the oil is hot enough, it will immediately bubble around the shallot.

Fried Shallots are the perfect finishing touch for soups like Soto Ayam (above), or Potage Solferino (page 170 of the book). Be sure to keep an eye on the shallots as they cook in the oil—they can burn easily.

  • 2 shallots
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups vegetable oil or as needed for frying

1. Peel and slice the shallots into 1/8-inch-thick rings. Separate the rings.

2. Season the flour with salt and cayenne (if using).

3. Dip the shallots in the milk. Strain or use a slotted spoon to remove. Dredge the shallots in the flour.

4. Fry in 325 degrees F oil until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Season to taste with salt.

  • from:
    The New Book of Soups
  • by The Culinary Institute of America
  • Lebhar-Friedman 2009
  • $35.00; hardcover; 256 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0867308605
  • ISBN: 978-0-86730-860-0
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

Buy The New Book of Soups


The New Book of Soups


This page created February 2010

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