This soup was inspired by some Thai peanut chicken sausage links. Tired of browning sausage whole, then serving it with a vegetable and some pasta or rice, I opted for soup. Taking the links out of their casings, I formed them into meatballs, then browned them. And I threw together some vegetables and seasonings that lent themselves to a Thai-inspired soup.
But meatballs take too much time for a weeknight meal. Instead, brown the links, then cut into slices.
Joe Gray writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.
Thai Inspiration Soup
Makes 4 servings -- Total time: 35 minutes
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2 containers) low-sodium chicken broth
2 links, about 2 1/4 ounces each, Thai peanut chicken sausage or regular chicken sausage
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 ounces snow pea pods, about 2 cups
2 carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
1 piece (2-inch long) ginger root, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha chile sauce plus more to pass (see note)
4 egg whites
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
Cook the rice in a saucepan according to package directions; heat the broth to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Meanwhile, cook the sausages in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; slice into 1/4 -inch rounds. Return sausage to the skillet; pour in the wine. Cook, stirring up browned bits, 1 minute. Lower heat to a simmer, cover. Cook until sausage cooks through, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the pea pods, carrots, fish sauce, ginger and sriracha chile sauce to the boiling broth; cook until vegetables are tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cooking juices. Pour in the egg whites while stirring with a spoon or whisk; add the cilantro. Divide rice among serving bowls; ladle soup over. Pass sriracha at the table.
Note: Sriracha sauce is a Thai hot chile sauce sold at Asian and specialty food stores and some supermarkets.
Per serving: 364 calories, 7 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 52 grams carbohydrate, 21 grams protein, 1,206 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber