Noodle Soup for Needy People

I have to say, to be prescriptive about a noodle soup seems to be against the ethos of what you're actually cooking. When I need a noodle[ soup, believe me I am in no mood to start weighing and measuring. I heat some broth, of some description or other, and throw in a variety of vegetables that are skulking about in the fridge and the most soothing noodles I can find. You can add other things, some chicken strips or, at the end, some fine rags of raw tuna or salmon, but I generally want the vegetably broth and noodles by themselves. The protein element, while so desirable in so many ways I'm sure, is not what I'm after here. But anyway, I throw down a blueprint here. Don't get caught up in it, but follow it if it feels helpful.]

Total Time:
12 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
2 min

Yield:
2 for supper
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 6 ounces udon noodles (dried, from a packet)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable or dashi broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 3/4 cup sugar snaps
  • 3/4 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Directions
  • Cook the noodles according to packet instructions and while the water is boiling fill a nearby saucepan with stock, brown sugar, star anise, ginger and soy sauce. (When the noodles are done, just drain them and put half in each bowl.)

  • When the flavored stock comes to a boil, add the vegetables. They should be cooked before 2 minutes are up.

  • Pour half into each bowl, over the cooked and drained noodles and sprinkle with cilantro.


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