Since my discovery of noodle soups this winter, I haven’t been able to get enough! They come together so quickly and offer a substantial, nourishing and warming complete meal and are so adaptable.
After a long day of lectures I usually arrive home hungry and tired and not feeling like cooking a complicated meal. More often than not, I turn to a bag of pasta and chuck in a few sliced mushrooms and a a quick tomato sauce simmered from a can of tomatoes, onion and garlic. This can become boring and so my love for noodles soups has grown since it is no more difficult or time consuming than my pasta meal yet bursting with complex flavours and packed with a range of nutritious vegetables.
The beauty is that they are special and delicious enough not just for weeknight sustenance but for guests and weekend treats. You can make it more special by making your own spice pastes and blends and adding your favourite vegetables.
I love that one day I can make a Thai style noodle soup, then a tomato based soup and even an Oriental Noodle Broth like this one adapted from Quorn Vegetarian Recipes. The added bonus is that it is packed with nutrition yet low in fat and calories.
I have used tofu here as the meat alternative and a great source of protein. I love how it absorbs all the wonderful flavours from the broth and it is even more flavour packed if it is marinated in soy sauce for a little time before adding it to the broth.
You can really use any veggies that you like or want to use up. I adore julienned carrots and red pepper in my noodle soups and a healthy dose of something green. I have used Swiss chard here but spinach, kale, bok choi or any other cabbage will work perfectly and add a pretty flash of green to the bowl. Even without the noodles, if you are following a low carb diet (as I currently am), the broth alone with the veggies and tofu is soothing and flavoursome as it is.
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 350g firm tofu (or other alternative such as tempeh or seitan), drained and pressed
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 red chilli, chopped (de-seeded for less heat)
- 1 large carrot, julienned
- 1/2 red pepper, julienned
- 1 small head of Swiss chard or bok choi or other greens
- 3 tbsp dry sherry (check for a vegan kind)
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 75g fine wholewheat noodles
- Pour the vegetable stock into a large pan and add the garlic, chilli, vegetables, sherry and soy sauce.
- Bring to boiling, then turn the heat down and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Add the cubed tofu, miso paste and noodles and cook until the noodles are cooked according to package instructions.
- Season with soy sauce if necessary.
- Ladle the broth into bowls, garnish with shredded spring onions and extra slices of chilli.
High in iron
High in magnesium
Very high in vitamin A
Very high in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C