The Best Noodle Soup!

August 22, 2012 § 4 Comments

Sometimes in the summer, I get a little jealous of people who live in cities besides San Francisco. Summer does not actually exist in San Francisco; case in point, today I wore long pants and a trench coat, and I still felt chilly. It was so foggy, I think I got rained on from the condensation of the fog. It is so foggy in San Francisco that I believe I would bet a cookie that foghorns were invented here. It is like I’m constantly in the mysterious portion of a movie where the main character walks through a creepy fog, but instead of finding a last unicorn I just walk into sewers that smell very very dank.

But San Francisco is a great city beyond that! Some positives about this place? You can wear the same outfit all year round because it is always foggy! Also, if you are pale (not me), you won’t get sunburned. You never have to rake your snow! (Is it called raking snow? You can tell I’ve lived in the Bay Area for too long if I don’t know how to put the snow away.)

Also, there’s no need to ever work out for that swimsuit body because the beaches are so damned cold no one can go swimming anyways! Yay!

And best of all, it is always the season for a hot piping bowl of noodles in delicious brothy goodness. Yum yum. It gets so chilly throughout the day and then the chill settles into your bones, and all you can think of is a giant bowl of noodles. Then that first waft of noodles starts steaming away all your troubles and all your chills and everything is perfect again.

My noodle soup is made from ingredients readily available in any kitchen, but feel free to substitute anything in it! Soup is meant to be a mish-mash of ingredients anyways, and if the soup starts tasting a little “muddy” from too many flavors and ingredients going on, just add a little fresh tomato or a splash of lime juice.

I like starting this broth with just a little bit of fresh tomato to give it some pizazz and spark, and then adding a bunch of savory items like mushrooms and onions and garlic, then finally some color on top with some fresh vegetables. This is also great because it’s a one-pot dish, and it’s gluten free as long as you use rice noodles (rather than udon or regular wheat noodles). This is a yummy lunch or dinner, and it is extremely filling. If you need a little extra protein, you can drizzle a little unsweetened soymilk (trust me, it’s a weird technique, but it works), or just add some slices of grilled tofu on top.

For the rest of the world who doesn’t live in cold-as-nipples-on-an-icecube summertime, just save this noodle soup recipe for when you or a loved one has a cold. I promise it will make all your worries go away.

Oh wait, before the recipe, this is my 50th recipe on this blog! Yayyyyy! I can’t believe it’s been so long, but I really love creating each post, and I love everyone who comments and reads this blog as well.

To celebrate the 50th recipe of this blog, I want to tell you that I will be writing a food book with one of my best friends Anna over the next year! (If I don’t announce it in a public forum, I’ll never do it…) Anna recently graduated from a prestigious art school, and as an artist, one theme that she explores is the intersection between memories, food, and culture. You should really check out her website; her art is at once playful and evocative and utterly beautiful. We still have no idea what we will be writing about, or how it should be done, but we’re open to ideas. Tell me about your ideas for this wonderful food book we should create.

Go Away, Fog! Noodle Soup
serves 2 | cook time: 25 minutes
So, this technically serves 2, but I shared this with my boyfriend and I was eyeing his bowl after I finished mine, so if you like large portion sizes, you might want to double this!

Ingredients
For the broth
– 1 basket of cherry tomatoes
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 5 cloves garlic, minced
– 10 shiitake mushrooms
– 3 tablespoons neutral tasting oil
– 4 cups water
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/8 tsp mace
– 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
– 2 tablespoon soy sauce
– salt to taste
– lime juice

- noodles!

Ideas for the toppings
– vegan meatballs (I used Gimme Lean sausages and just rolled them into balls)
– bell pepper
– beansprouts
– green onions
– pickled daikon
– kimchee
– carrots
– zucchini
– slices of tofu
– anything else you can think of!

1. To make the broth: Saute the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and mushrooms in the oil over high heat in a soup pot until they give up the ghost. More specifically, the ingredients should be well browned, smell fragrant, and have given up most of their water.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the salt and the lime juice, then simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Bring the broth back to a boil, then drop the noodles straight into the pot. You can cook the noodles in the broth to save on the dish washing efforts later. Cheers for one less pot!
4. Add salt to taste, but don’t over salt, as you’re going to be drinking a whole bowl of this stuff! Also add the lime juice right before you’re going to serve, otherwise the zinginess will cook out.
4. To assemble: Drape the noodles into a bowl, then pour a little broth on top, and then the toppings of your choice.  Top with an extra slice of lime. Happy slurping.

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§ 4 Responses to The Best Noodle Soup!

  • Anna says:

    Ahhh, noodle soup. Laguna was not a particularly chilly place, but soup is always a good college-type food in that it’s super easy and relatively inexpensive to make a huge amount to last through a busy week. :) What does mace taste like? I assume it’s not the stuff in pepper spray.

    And thank you for the website plug! :D I still think we should make an illustrated vegan chinese cookbook.

    • Thursdays With Wanda says:

      Okay! What are some of your favorite childhood recipes that we could recreate vegan style? I think we should tell stories with each dish too, about its origin or our family connection to it!

      • Anna says:

        Or we could do both a vegan and non-vegan version of each dish? Kinda like your seitan oxtail dish. *shrug* Just throwing ideas out there. Now that I think about it, I had an extremely meat-heavy diet as a child, but that probably just comes with being canto and having my dad cook dinner most of the time. I’ve always enjoyed his braised eggplant stuffed with fish paste though, that would probably be pretty easy to veganify.

        And yes, stories with each dish!

  • Gi says:

    You’re back!

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