Fall and Sesame Soba Soup

Now that it’s starting to feel like fall, I am getting excited about soup.  The past few days I’ve been simmering some beef bones and chicken feeton the stove and siphoning off glorious quantities of dark, golden brown liquid to freeze for beautiful bowls of soup for the fall.  The following is a repeat recipe, and I apologize for that, but it’s a good one, and I might just make some today with some of my beef/chicken stock.(By the way, it IS worth it to make your own stock at home.  The kind in boxes or cans at the store will be mostly devoid of the real richness of homemade stock.  Bones are cheap, and I am convinced that homemade stocks are one of the best things you can eat for your health.  It’s not that much work– really just simmering bones and maybe some old onions and carrots– and you can make it in the crock pot if you want.)

But anyway, the soup:

Sesame Soba Soup   (These measurements are very general– I would recommend just tossing the ingredients in, in these approximate amounts)
1/2 c. diced oniona few cloves of garlic, a few leeks (garlic leeks if you can find them), some scallions (or other allium vegetables, maybe a cup or two, total)– all chopped into small pieces (If you don’t have leeks or garlic leeks or scallions on hand, just use a bunch of garlic– maybe 4-5 cloves)

2 T garlic powder (if not using fresh garlic)

1 T ginger powder (or some fresh chopped ginger)

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 c. chicken or beef stock (optional; you can substitute water), plus 2 c. water (or 4 c. water, total)

1/3 c. good quality soy sauce

2 T fish sauce (optional)

2 T. brown sugar (or white sugar or agave nectar)

1 9.5 oz/269 g bag of soba noodles (or substitute Barilla Plus spaghetti noodles)

3 T sesame oil

1.  In a large pot, heat some olive oil or butter on medium heat.  Add onions, sprinkle them with about 1/2 tsp. salt,  and cook for about 5 minutes.   Let them brown a little bit but not burn.

2. Add garlic, leeks, scallions, and stir with the onions for about 1 minute.  Add ginger and cayenne.  Stir for another minute, or until fragrant.  Add chicken or beef stock and water (or just water), soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar.  Place a lid on the pot and bring to a low boil.

3.  Add noodles to the pot, and cook (uncovered) for about 3-4 minutes, or until noodles are tender (soba noodles cook more quickly than regular flour noodles, so be careful not to overcook!)

4.  Check seasonings– add a little more salt or soy sauce if you want.  Ladle into bowls and top each bowl with about 1 T of sesame oil.

(You could also add just about any vegetables you have on hand to this soup, or top with some tempeh or leftover roasted chicken, etc.)


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