If I’m on my own at home and feel like a simple hot lunch or dinner, this Asian vegetable noodle soup is what I’ll invariably make, as it’s both healthy and filling. It’s also great if you need to use up vegetable odds and ends. From start to finish, it takes about 20 minutes, and once you have the basic ingredients at home, it’s very easy to make and adapt to your own taste. In fact, this is my special version that’s been adapted from a Japanese recipe I found many years ago. It’s one of a few noodle dishes (XO Scallops With Noodles is another one) that I can make without having to think about what I’m doing.
Ingredients: (for one person with a big appetite)
- 2 to 3 types of vegetables – carrot, courgette, watercress, peas, soy beans, leek, mushroom (normal or shiitake, enoki etc
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 slices fresh ginger
- noodles – I normally use soba (buckwheat), wholewheat or a fine egg variety
- 2 tbsp miso paste – I normally use the lighter variety, shiromiso or white miso, but am currently using brown rice miso
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 sheet of dried nori (seaweed), cut into tiny strips
- 1 egg (optional)
- shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven flavour chili pepper) to season
What to do next:
Heat two to three inches of water in a saucepan. Add chopped spring onions and ginger. Slice vegetables as thinly as possible, so that they will cook more quickly. Today, I had chestnut mushrooms, carrot and frozen soy beans to use.
Stir in miso paste to water, ensuring that it dissolves properly, followed by the mirin. Follow with your choice of vegetables.
Simmer on a low heat for a few minutes. You can put the lid on to cover most, but not all, of the saucepan. Meanwhile, cut a sheet of nori into small strips and add to the serving bowl.
Add noodles to another saucepan of boiling water and cook according to instructions on the packet (it depends what type of noodles you use).
Drain noodles and add to the serving bowl. Pour the soup contents on top and serve with a dash or two of shichimi togarashi. Eat while hot!
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