Chicken Soup with Ginger and Cilantro-NYT Food



This seasonal twist on a classic is loaded with summer market finds like tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. Quick-cooking boneless chicken pieces are gently simmered in a ginger-and-cilantro-infused broth with a dash of soy sauce. The eye-catching garnish tray doubles as a colorful centerpiece, allowing guests to pile their bowls with aromatic fresh herbs, spicy chiles, and juicy citrus. 

Chicken Soup with Ginger and Cilantro
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
100 mins


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

  • 12 cups homemade or lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 bunches fresh cilantro, stems only (about 1 cup packed stems), leaves reserved for garnish

  • 3 medium scallions (about 1 1/2 ounces), cut in half

  • 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger (unpeeled), slicedkosher salt, plus more if desired

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more if desired

  • 1 medium (9-ounce) zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)

  • ¾ cup chopped (1/2-inch pieces) red bell pepper (from 1 medium [8-ounce] bell pepper)

  • 1 small (6-ounce) tomato, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

  • Soy sauce or fish sauce (optional)

  • 4 cups loosely packed mixed tender fresh herbs (such as basil, cilantro, shiso, scallions, chives, and tarragon)

  • Sliced fresh jalapeños or other chiles, thinly sliced red onion or shallot, and lemon, lime, and orange wedges, for garnish


  1. Combine chicken pieces, broth, cilantro stems, scallions, ginger, and salt in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer, undisturbed, until chicken is cooked through and is easily shredded, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a plate. Let chicken stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes, then shred into bite-size pieces; set aside. While chicken is cooling, increase heat under pan to medium-high, and bring broth mixture to a boil. Boil, undisturbed, until liquid has reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl; discard solids.

  2. Wipe pan clean; return strained broth mixture to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium. Stir in zucchini and bell pepper; cook, undisturbed, until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato and shredded chicken; cook, undisturbed, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season soup to taste with soy sauce or fish sauce and additional salt as desired.

  3. Arrange mixed herbs, jalapeños, red onion, and citrus wedges on a platter. Divide hot soup evenly among 6 bowls, and serve alongside aromatic garnishes.

Make Ahead

Soup can be prepared through step 1 up to 2 days ahead. Chill chicken and broth separately in airtight containers.

Suggested Pairing

Crisp, tangy white: Hugues Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet


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