This Bok Choy Soup is an easy soup that you can make in little to not time. It’s budget friendly, is packed with super food bok choy, and is Whole30, Paleo, and Keto, and can be easily made Vegan friendly. It can be an appetizer to your favorite asian dish, or can stand alone as it’s own meal. Because of the sturdiness of bok choy, it is a great winter vegetable, meaning it sells for less during the winter months. That makes this soup fast, easy, versatile, AND cheap! You gotta love soups.
It’s still soup season in the Colorado mountains– and it will be for awhile. I’ve made more soups that I can even tell you since I moved here, and they all seem to hit the spot when it comes to those cold days we get or after a day spent enjoying the outdoors. It’s an added bonus that this soup takes little to no time and effort, so you can throw it together last minute and be sitting down to eat in about an hour!
Okay, time for science nerd time before we get into this delicious recipe! I definitely do an abnormal amount of reading when deciding how to make what foods, mostly because I’m completely fascinated by foods in general. We know so much about the human body and the foods we consume, but every day we are making more discoveries and realizing that we don’t know nearly as much as we thought! And that “we” means scientists — not many people (including myself!) know the details about how the foods we eat impact our body and its homeostasis (that’s fancy for how it stays balanced).
Benefits of Bok Choy
I recently read an article about how bok choy is the new “superfood” that we all need to be eating. It’s extremely low in calories (less than 10 calories per shredded cup), and is low in carbohydrates for those of you keeping track of those (1.5 g). It also contains around 0.7 grams of fiber but has less than one gram of naturally occurring sugar.
For those of you who really don’t care about those numbers (I personally do not, but recognize the value for some people looking to reduce their risk of diabetes or treat other medical conditions such as hypertension and heart disease), bok choy is filled with vitamins, including vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and beta-carotine. (Beta-carotine supports good eye health — I had to look it up).
Bok choy is also rich in vitamin B6, which is one of the COOLEST vitamins in my opinion. If you don’t have a list of vitamins you think is cool, add vitamin B6 to the top of your list. The B vitamins do so much for your body, and vitamin B6 is one that helps with regulating your central nervous system and your metabolism. Your central nervous system (CNS) is composed of your brain and your spinal cord – so yeah, it’s very important. Vitamin B6 helps with the creation and regulation of neurotransmitters (chemical signals), and a study published in 2016 suggested that a lack of vitamin B6 might be connected to diminished cognitive function.
Also, if you have a few minutes and want to learn more about B vitamins, check out this super cool chart from the above study to learn more about what they do, common names for the different B vitamins, and what a brain deficiencies can occur without those vitamins. Super neat! I’ve put a portion below so you can also spend 25 minutes looking over it like I did. Also, as a reminder, if you are a strict vegan, you need to incorporate vitamin B12 into your diet, usually by taking a vitamin pill. You can read more about it here.
If you don’t already love bok choy for it’s nutritional qualities, you’re going to love that bok choy is a rich in calcium. A cup of shredded bok choy can have around 75 mg of calcium. To put that into perspective, that’s about 1/4 of the calcium in a cup of milk, or about 1/3 the calcium in an ounce of cheese! If you avoid dairy or choose not to include it in your diet, bok choy is a great way to make sure your teeth and bones stay strong!
It is so incredible to me that we know so much about how these vitamins will help our bodies function, and how a lack of them will cause chaos. I hope that learning more about some of these inspires you to be more purposeful about what you eat!
Making Bok Choy Soup
Now that I’ve had a few minutes of your attention to let you know the amazing science behind this incredible vegetable, it’s time to make this delicious soup and put it in your belly!
For this recipe, you will need:
- bok choy
- mushrooms (I use shiitake mushrooms for this recipe)
- fresh ginger
- sesame oil or olive oil
- coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you tolerate soy)
- chicken broth (or vegetable for a vegan option)
- salt and pepper
If you can only find baby bok choy at the grocery store, that is completely fine. I usually use three or four medium bok choy for this recipe so that there is plenty to eat, but this recipe can be full of veggies or more of a simple soup to eat as a side. I also recommend sliced carrots for this recipe to give it a little more variety and flavor, but the mushrooms, onions, and bok choy do enough for this recipe that I don’t always put in carrots. I’m currently working on a dumpling recipe to pair with this soup, but you’ll have to wait for that one to go through a few more test trials before it winds up here!
If you’re on the Whole30 or are following a paleo diet, feel free to add some protein of your choice to this soup, although I honestly love this soup without any protein. It is packed with veggies and filling, with delicious umami taste that satisfies hunger and warms you up. If you’re looking for a vegan option, tofu pairs very well with this recipe. I don’t personally eat soy, but I have tried a few different types of tofu that are not soy based that would be so tasty in this soup!
Lastly, you don’t need any special kitchen utensils to make this soup. A large soup pot will do (or even a medium one), and a knife and cutting board. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Once you’ve washed your vegetables, chop the bok choy into bite sized pieces. You can leave the more leafy parts in tact in you’d like, which is what I personally do, since I really enjoy the leafy texture when eating the soup. Otherwise, feel free to chop up the leafy parts as finely as the the white base. I usually leave off the very base of the bok choy since it’s tougher, but other than that, the rest of it cooks up just fine!
After chopping your bok choy and your onion, mince up your garlic and ginger ahead of time to make things run more smoothly. If you are also adding carrots, this is also a great time to chop your carrots. heat your soup pot over medium heat and drizzle with sesame oil. Once the oil has heated, add in your chopped bok choy and onion. Let them cook in the oil until, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until they are cooked through. The onions should be translucent and the bok choy should be less firm but will not be completely limp like the onions.
Once your onions and bok choy have cooked through, add in your minced garlic and minced ginger. Stir until they become fragrant, which should take about 2-4 minutes.
Next, add in your mushrooms. I usually chop my mushrooms ahead of time, but there’s no reason why you can’t leave them whole, especially since shiitake mushrooms have such a delicious taste! It’s more of a personal preference as to what you’d like to do.
After cooking the mushrooms for about 3 minutes, add in your broth of choice. I usually use chicken broth, but if I decide to make this a vegan soup I obviously add vegetable broth. Both are delicious and work just as well. Add in your coconut aminos, salt and pepper. If you plan on adding a protein to this soup, I recommend cooking it beforehand so that you know for certain that it is cooked thoroughly. If you are adding tofu, you can simply chop it into cubes and add it to the soup at this point. Bring your soup to a boil. Once it begins boils, turn down the heat to a simmer until you are ready to eat!
And that’s it, folks! Nothing too crazy here, but definitely delicious!
Bok Choy Soup
- 3 medium bok choy
- 1 large onion
- 1-2 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 1-2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1-2 tbsp sesame oil or olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- Chop the bok choy, onion, and mushrooms
- Mince both your ginger and garlic
- Heat your soup pot over medium heat with sesame oil
- Once oil is heated through, add in the chopped bok choy and onion. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
- Once bok choy and onion have cooked through, add in ginger and garlic. Stir in with the other ingredients, and cook until fragrant.
- Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once all your vegetables are cooked through, add broth and coconut aminos to the soup pot. Bring to a boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat so that the soup is simmering.
- Simmer until ready to serve!