Sunday, 6 October 2013

Asian Style Noodle Soup


Comfort food doesn't have to be unhealthy.  This Asian noodle soup with ginger and garlic will warm you from top to toe


It's really getting to be that time of year where all I want for dinner is comfort food but I tend to get the food guilt.  Yep, food guilt.  What I really want is something cheesy and gooey and stupidly high in calories but I know that after I eat it I'll just feel bad for stuffing my face.  It's a terrible affliction.  So what can you do?  Well, noodle soup of course!
This dish is not only warming, fragrant and filling but it's easy to make and super healthy so no food guilt!

Start with the broth - I'm lazy so bought some pre-made chicken stock but home made stock would be amazing!  Slice the ginger into quite chunky slices, dice the garlic and slice down the middle of the lemongrass.  Give the lemongrass and ginger a good bash with the back of a knife so that some of the oils and juices can escape.   I de-seeded a red chilli and sliced in half - if you want a bit more spice just leave the seeds in.


A warming and fragrant Asian noodle soup with tofu, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger


Add the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chilli to the stock and let it simmer for up to an hour - the more flavoured you want the stock, the longer you can leave it.

While the stock is bubbling away, slice the veggies.  There are so many veggies that go well with this soup but I like to use some form of cabbage (bok choy in this instance), shiitake mushrooms and baby corn.  I tend to slice the stalks off the cabbage as they take a little longer to cook.


A warming and fragrant Asian noodle soup with tofu, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger


I like to use silken tofu sliced into cubes but why not try prawns or chicken?  

Once the broth is infused, remove the ginger, chilli and lemongrass and allow the tofu to soak to absorb the beautiful flavours.  It's entirely personal preference whether you want to finely dice the ginger and chilli and then put them back in the soup - I did on this occasion and LOVE garlic so left all of the chunks in.  The flavour mellows out after simmering for a while so it's not too stinky!

Bring the broth up to a boil and drop in the noodles.  I had some "straight to wok" noodles in the cupboard so they didn't need much cooking but I would advise that any dried noodles be cooked separately first and then added to the soup.  Add the vegetables in the order of how long they take to cook - for me it was the baby corn, cabbage stalks, mushrooms and finally the cabbage greens.  


A warming and fragrant Asian noodle soup with tofu, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger


Once everything is cooked, serve in your favourite bowl then curl up under your favourite blanket with a good book!

A warming and fragrant Asian noodle soup with tofu, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, garlic and ginger



Ingredients
500g chicken stock
150g straight to wok medium noodles
150g silken tofu
4 bok choy leaves and stalks
3 medium shiitake mushrooms
3 baby corn
1 red chilli
1piece of ginger, about the size of your thumb
1 clove garlic

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