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'm grateful for a bowl of nourishing noodle soup. I say a prayer before my meal.
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
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.
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 stock. It's the best! I love it for its clean taste and homemade flavor. I learned about it from Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. I find it 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.
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.
If you love big brothy bowls of noodles check out my delicious, quick & easy pho and my easy soba noodle soup with mushrooms and snow peas or view all of my Asian noodle recipes in the Recipe Index .
- 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. 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, squeeze of lemon or lime juice, drizzle of sriracha, a drop or two of toasted sesame oil, chili flakes
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