I’m a sucker for a warm noodle soup. It’s probably the one dish I crave at least once a week, and I’m sure I’ve never met a noodle soup that I didn’t want to just completely slurp down. Because I know I have these cravings, I always have all the necessary ingredients on hand. If you are a noodle soup lover like me, let me tell you how to stock up.
I keep a variety of fresh noodles of different bases – egg, wheat, rice – and of different thicknesses frozen in my freezer. Even frozen, they cook relatively quickly and of course, they keep a long, long time. Typically I purchase them at Ranch 99 a chain of Asian supermarkets. These days supermarkets are getting better at stocking ethnic offerings, so I’m sure you can find a smaller selection even at your traditional local grocer. If you absolutely can’t find any of the Asian variety, plain old spaghetti (fresh or dry) will do as well.
Even though it’s the noodles I crave, I like to always include proteins and vegetables as well to have a completely balanced one-bowl meal. I just about always have some protein on hand whether it’s a block of tofu or frozen seafood. As for vegetables, if you have nothing fresh, frozen vegetables always work great. Finally you need the soup part. Everyone has access to water, which is the basis of what you need for a soup. Whether you start from water, homemade, or canned stock / broth, feel free to get creative making it a richer soup-base – herbs, soy sauce, fish sauce, curry and miso pastes are all fair game.
The recipe below shows you how I easily bring all these components together: noodles, protein, vegetables, soup all in one pot. While the recipe is for udon (a thick noodle common in Japanese cooking), tofu, broccoli and carrots, and a miso-based broth, you really can swap in anything and follow the same instructions. One reason I love this recipe so much is that we use the water that the broccoli and carrots are cooked in for our soup-base. Why throw away water that now has nutrients and flavor from the vegetables imparted into it? Might as well slurp that down too with your starchy noodles.
Helpful tools: 6 quart stock pot
- Udon noodles, dry/pre-cooked – 1 lb.
- Carrots, peel & chopped – 1 lb.
- Broccoli, chopped – 1 lb.
- Super-firm, vacuum packed tofu – 1 lb.
- Red miso paste – 4 tbs.
- Soy sauce (opt) – 4 tbs.
- Sriracha hot sauce (opt) – 1 tbs.
- Udon – Cook udon according to packaged instructions
- Carrots – Peel & chop into bite-sized pieces
- Broccoli – Chop into bite-sized pieces
- Protein – Chop into 1” cubes
- Bring 2 quarts (that’s 8 cups) of water to boil
- When water boils, season with some salt but not too much, as we’ll be using the same water for our miso soup base
- Place carrots in water. Boil for ~4 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon. Wait for water to come back to a boil if it’s not boiling. Place broccoli in water. Boil for 3 minutes and then remove with a slotted spoon
- Keep water at just a simmer and not a vigorous boil. Place protein in. Tofu is pre-cooked and just needs to be warmed for about 3 minutes
- Season the liquid with miso. Start with whisking in 4 tbs. and add more as needed
- Divide noodles into 4 bowls and pour soup and proteins over noodles. Top with vegetables
- If using soy sauce and Sriracha, I like to put them into small dipping bowls to dip the ingredients into. You can make a dipping sauce with anything in your pantry!
- Go ahead and slurp those noodles. You deserve it.