Chinese Bean Curd Soup with Cellophane Noodles and Spinach

Fresh spinach in a bowl

Asian-style soups can be created in a quick burst of inspiration and little forethought.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 4-ounce package cellophane (bean-thread) noodles
  • 32-ounce carton low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 8 to 12 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 14- to 16-ounce tub firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a heatproof container, combine the cellophane noodles with enough hot water to cover. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well, then place on a cutting board and chop in several directions until the noodles are fairly consistently short, about 2 inches in length.

Meanwhile, combine the straw mushrooms and their liquid with the vegetable stock in a soup pot. Bring to a simmer, then add the spinach, tofu, and ginger. Simmer briefly, just until the spinach wilts and the tofu is heated through.

Remove from the heat, stir in the noodles, and season to taste with soy sauce and pepper. Serve at once.


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