Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Asian Noodle Soup


I work with a beautiful nurse who just happens to be my best friend. She's everything a friend and a nurse should be; kind, respectful and insightful. I'm lucky to have her in my life. She looks 20 years younger than her actual age. Her fountain of youth springs from her youthful soul. This soup may also have something to do with it. My friend makes it after indulging in too much rich food or chocolate chip ice cream (her guilty pleasure). It's wonderful! She calls it her "Chinese Woman Soup." A wise Chinese lady told my friend that the soup keeps her healthy. I riffed on her recipe.




Since I stopped working every evening in a psychiatric ER, I've been trying to be more mindful about eating. Savoring food and enjoying proper meals is the goal. My exodus from the ER means I no longer unconsciously shove vending-machine-oreos in my mouth like Cookie Monster on a binge. Consuming sugar is associated with too much stress. That rings true for me. But I haven't quit sugar cold turkey. I love dark chocolate in moderation. Sanity has returned to my soul. I say a prayer before my meal, grateful for a bowl of nourishing soup. 
                   


Now, let's get back to this nutritious soup....

A light vegetable broth is infused with ginger and scallions. Tangles of noodles and tender-crisp green vegetables give lots of texture and vitality. My friend likes to add thinly sliced chicken to the soup for protein. But the soup is great on its own or with tofu too. It's done in about 30 minutes. But it tastes like you've gone to great lengths to make it. The soup is comforting and energizing at the same time. There's something nice about puttering around the kitchen cooking a flavorful soup that you know is wholesome and delicious. If you're in need of a reboot then make this big slurpy bowl of Asian noodles. I think you'll be happy you did.




Asian Noodle Soup Recipe

Serves 4 

Some Notes & Tips

Swap the chicken for shrimp or sauteed tofu if that's what you'd prefer. Throw in some shiitake mushrooms. Use all bok choy or all spinach. Just remember to add the bok choy and spinach at the end of cooking so it stays bright green and lively.

The bouillon or broth you use makes all the difference in a simple soup. Some bouillon cubes tend to be on the salty side. Some of the boxed broths and stocks are just not good. Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon is my go-to veggie bouillon when I don't have the time or energy to make my own broth or stock. It's the best! 

Rapunzel boullioun is my secret ingredient. I love it for its clean taste and homemade flavor. I learned about it from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. 
I find Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon  at Whole Foods or buy it online at Amazon. It's a lifesaver for quick soups like this one. But you can swap it and the water for 8 cups of your favorite broth or stock.  

Sometimes I add a star anise pod or a few dashes of cinnamon to the broth as it simmers. 

Keep the noodles separate from the broth. Add them to the soup when you serve it so they don't get mushy and soak up all the broth. The broth can be made ahead of time too.

The serving suggestions are a must for this soup. Pick your favorites and enjoy! 

Ingredients


  • 8 ounces of  rice noodles or any kind of Asian noodle you prefer 
  • 8 ounces of thinly sliced or diced white meat chicken (optional)  
  • 1 cup of chopped bok choy. I use baby bok choy.  
  • 2 generous cups of baby spinach
  • 4 scallions, diced, reserve the dark green parts
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 small garlic clove minced. I use a zester for this.  
  • 6 vegetable bouillon cubes (see notes) I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Vegetable Bouillon  
  • Couple of good splashes of soy sauce. I use Shoyu.
  • A few tiny drops Asian sesame seed oil. I use Trader Joe's.
  • 8 cups of water 
  • Salt to taste 
To Serve:
Thai basil or regular basil
Cilantro
Fresh lime juice
Sliced jalapeno pepper
A few drops of toasted sesame oil
Chili flakes
Sriracha
Hoisin Sauce

Instructions


Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Rice noodles take a very short time to cook. My package instructed me to rinse them in cold water after cooking. Stir 3-4 drops of sesame oil into the cooked and drained noodles to help separate the noodles and keep them from clumping together. You can also spray them with a some cooking spray. Sprinkle the reserved green parts of the scallions over the noodles and set aside.

In a large soup pot heat 8 cups of water and the vegetable bouillon cubes with the some soy sauce, the rest of the scallions, garlic and ginger. Salt to taste. Simmer covered for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the thinly sliced chicken. Cover and keep the soup at a gentle boil until the chicken is done. Toss in the bok choy and the spinach. Take off the heat. Put the rice noodles in big soup bowls and ladle the hot soup over them. I love to serve it with Thai basil, a squeeze of lime and a few drops of sesame oil.

Bon Appetit & Blessings!

XX ~ Jilly

10 comments:

  1. I love asian noodle soups.. thanks for reminding me how delicious they are, i definitely need to make the recipe - but will be using tofu instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Thalia, I hope you like it. It's a favorite with my friends and family. Thanks for visiting me! Bon Appetit!

      Delete
  2. I made this soup for our supper tonight, I used Tofu instead of chicken, this soup is amazing, couldn't stop eating it! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi There! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I love soup, especially at this time of year. Thank you for leaving a kind comment and visiting me here. Happy Cooking! Jill

      Delete
  3. Made this for dinner tonight with some added mushrooms and it was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello There, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I love to make soup as much as I love to sew. Thanks for letting me know!

      Delete
  4. made this! very delicious and fresh, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Polina! Thank you for trying it. So glad you enjoyed it! The fresh taste is what I love about it too. xx ~ Jilly

      Delete
  5. this sounds gorgeous, I will make it for lunch today. Also, what a beautiful website :) I feel at peace just reading your pages and looking at your work. Just lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carmina! I hope you enjoy it! Thank you for your sweet comments. I created this blog to be a place of peace and gentle, domestic inspiration. It makes my heart happy that people like coming here. 💗 xx - Jily

      Delete