Chicken Wonton Soup
As will happen, my 12-ounce package of wonton wrappers contained 50 but 1 pound of meat made 58 wontons. What's a recipe writer to do? Do we buy extra wonton wrappers (you can freeze the rest)? Do we write a recipe for 3/4 pound of ground meat, not exactly standard package size? I went with the latter as even with 6 wontons per bowl of soup, you'll have extra. (You can freeze these too until needed.)
I include ingredients to "doctor up" storebought stock with ginger, garlic and scallions but I need to be completely honest here: you can probably skip it too. The wontons have the real flavor here, and a little dash of soy, toasted sesame oil and fistful of scallions go a long way at the end to making this an easy weeknight soup, yes, even with that wonton folding.
Form your wontons: Place a few wontons wrappers on your counter. Cover the remaining ones with a piece of plastic wrap. Place 1 heaped teaspoon (from a measuring spoon set) in the center. Use your fingers dipped in water to dampen the edges. Fold one corner diagonally across to the other, pressing air out as you seal it shut. Then, bring the two corners on the wide side of the triangle down below it and use a dab of water to seal them shut. You're not trying to pull the corners across the belly, but pointing downward. Lightly sprinkle a big plate with cornstarch and place form wontons on it. Repeat with remaining wontons. I found that after I'd made a couple and got the hang of it, I could lay out 6 at a time and get each batch of 6 done in 2 minutes, meaning that this process took me about 20 minutes total.
Fix up your stock (optional): While you're forming wontons, should you want to enhance your stock (see note up top first), chop the white and light green parts of your scallions into 1/2- to 1-inch segments. Cut dark green tops into thin slivers and save for garnish later. Place stock in 3 to 4-quart pot with sliced ginger, the white and light green scallions you've just chopped, garlic and soy sauce or salt, as needed, to season. Simmer them together for 20 minutes while you make the wontons, then strain out the ginger, scallions and garlic.
Cook the wontons: Once your wontons are formed, you can cook them right in the simmering broth or you can do so in simmering water — the latter is better so that the cornstarch on the wrappers doesn't make the soup cloudy. Boil wontons for 3 minutes to cook them inside; this is really all it takes, but if you're nervous, cut one in half to make sure.
To finish soup: Add spinach to simmering broth and let cook for one minute, until softened. Add cooked wontons to broth and let them warm through again for 30 seconds. Ladle wontons and soup into bowls. I used about 1 1/4 cups broth and 6 wontons per serving. Drizzle each dish with a little toasted sesame oil, a bit of soy sauce (if desired) and scatter with reserved dark green scallion tops. Dig in.
Do ahead: Wontons can be formed and refrigerated for a day, or frozen for a month or longer.
Posted by: Rhonda Allison-Gray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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