Soto Banjar

soup from banjarmasin, borneo

Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup
From Sheila Lukins

• 4 c. defatted chicken broth
• 3 c. water
• 4 large flat-leaf parsley sprigs
• 2 fresh cilantro sprigs, roots and stems slightly crushed
• 1 whole chicken breast (1 to
• 1 1/4 lbs.), rinsed well
• 3 medium boiling potatoes (about 12 oz.), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 4 oz. shallots, peeled
• 4 large cloves garlic, peeled
• 3 tbsps. olive oil
• 1 tbsp. peeled fresh
• ginger, minced
• 1 tsp. ground cardamom
• 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long)
• coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 2 c. cooked angel hair pasta
• 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
• 1/4 c. chopped green celery
• leaves or fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 lime, thinly sliced


Combine the chicken broth, water, and parsley and cilantro sprigs in a medium-size soup pot. Bring to a boil and add the chicken breast. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken and let cool slightly. Shred the meat from the bones in 1 1/2 x 1/2-inch pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Set aside covered. Strain the broth and return it to the pot. Add the potatoes to the broth.

Cut half the shallots and half the garlic lengthwise into very thin slices. Heat the oil in a medium-size nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the sliced shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain. Reserve for garnish. Finely mince the remaining shallots and garlic and the ginger together with the cardamom. Add to skillet and cook uncovered, stirring, over low heat until aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add this mixture to the broth along with the cinnamon stick, salt, and pepper. Cook covered over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the broth with a slotted spoon.

To assemble, lay out 4 to 6 shallow soup or pasta bowls. Arrange the chicken, pasta, eggs, and potatoes in sections in each bowl, so that it resembles 4 wedges. Heat the broth until piping hot and adjust the seasonings. Discard the cinnamon stick. Ladle the broth into the bowls and sprinkle with the reserved shallots and garlic. Sprinkle the celery leaves or cilantro atop and float a lime slice in the center of each bowl. Serves 6 as a first course, 4 as an entree.

Recipes from Sheila Lukins' All Around The World Cookbook by Sheila Lukins (Workman Publishers, copyright 1994 by Sheila Lukins)


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