Asian Chicken Soup
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, and add mushrooms; let sit until softened, at least 30 minutes. Strain mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lined sieve to remove any sandy grit; discard mushrooms.Advertisement
Return mushroom broth to a clean medium saucepan, and add chicken, carrot, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, and peppercorns. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer over medium heat 20 minutes, or until broth is reduced to about 4 cups. Strain through a fine sieve back into saucepan, reserving broth and discarding everything but the chicken.
Remove chicken meat from the bones, and shred the meat. Return chicken meat to mushroom broth; add sugar, tofu, lime juice, herbs, and soy sauce, and stir to combine. Transfer soup to a covered container, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight. Serve.
For a heartier version, add cooked and drained soba or udon noodles, or serve brown rice on the side. This soup can be prepared through step 2 up to three days in advance; for best results, store the broth separately from all other items. Proceed with step 3 the day the soup will be served.