In our house, we consider this time of year Soup Season! I always find it soothing to have a pot of soup simmering on the stove when the weather turns unpleasant outside.
This October brought us the second wettest month in record-keeping history here in Portland. And wet it was! We did have some nice days as well, but not many.
Last week at the store, I noticed some fresh whole wheat- barley ramen. I love noodles of any kind, so I just had to pick up a package of these hearty looking strands of ramen noodles. While shopping, I also got some fresh ginger, fresh turmeric root, a handful of shiitakes and tender baby bok choi. Combined with a few staples in the pantry and refrigerator, we had steaming hot bowls of Miso Vegetable Ramen on the table in no time.
This recipe is quite flexible and is perfect for using up all the odds and ends in your vegetable drawers. If you can’t get fresh turmeric, use the dried powder. Fresh ginger seems essential, as it adds a spicy-warm depth to the soup. I had some red miso, so that’s what I used. The darker the color of the miso, the stronger the flavor. The ramen noodles I found were incredibly delicious. Chewy and tender, yet hearty. I put them directly into the soup because the flour coating helped thicken the broth just a little. This made it more substantial as a one dish supper.
Here’s the recipe:
For the broth you’ll need:
- 1 large leek
- 1 or 2 carrots
- a few stalks of celery
- a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger root
- a 2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root
or a teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 or 2 fresh chile peppers
- a handful of dried mushrooms, any kind will do
- a splash of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil
- 1 yellow summer squash
- about 1/2 cup of miso (I used a red variety)
For the soup you’ll need:
- fresh ramen noodles (dried ones work well too!)
- baby bok choi, thinly sliced and leaves and stems separated
- thinly sliced carrots, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, green onions,
fresh cilantro, red or yellow bell peppers, sugar snap or snow peas, etc.
- firm tofu, pressed dry and cut into small cubes
- some fresh lemon or lime slices
First, clean the vegetables for the broth and cut them into chunks.
Next, put them into a large soup pot.
Cover the vegetables generously with water and the soy sauce, sesame oil,
chile peppers, ginger, turmeric and the dried mushrooms.
Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cover the pot and get your other soup veggies ready.
When the broth is ready, strain it through a fine colander .
Reserve the broth and discard the vegetables.
Put the broth back into the soup pot and continue to simmer.
In a small bowl whisk the miso in some of the broth until dissolved.
Once you add it to the broth, the soup should not boil again.
While this is cooking gently, add the rest of the vegetables and tofu,
except for the bok choi leaves, the cilantro and lemon.
Simmer for a few minutes, then add the fresh, uncooked ramen.
Continue to simmer until the ramen noodles are tender.
Right before serving, add the bok choi leaves and chopped cilantro.
Stir until just wilted and bright green.
Adjust the seasoning and add the lemon.