Rice-Stick Noodle Soup with Lettuce and Shiitake Mushrooms

This simple soup is a good introductory course for a mixed vegetable and tofu stir-fry.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1 4-ounce bundle rice-stick noodles
  • 4 cups strong vegetable stock, or 4 cups water
    with 2 vegetables bouillon cubes, or 2
    15-ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned,
    stemmed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large head Romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons natural soy sauce, to taste
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the rice-stick noodles with enough hot water to cover in a heatproof container. Let them soak, covered, until al dente, about 20 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain well, then transfer the noodles to a cutting board and chop them in several directions to shorten.

Meanwhile, combine the vegetable stock with the shiitakes in a soup pot and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the lettuce, scallions, and soy sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more, just until the lettuce is slightly wilted. Stir in the noodles, then season to taste with freshly ground pepper, and serve at once.

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