Japanese Soba Noodle Soup with Tofu and Greens

Shiitake mushrooms on a cutting board

One thing I love about Asian-style soups is that they require little advance planning, and are ready to go from counter to soup pot to table in 30 minutes or less. I do find, though, that unlike other soups that benefit from long simmering and that taste even better after a day or so, Asian soups taste best just done. This is especially true in the case of noodle soups—the noodles absorb much of the broth when refrigerated overnight, leaving you with more of a noodle dish than a soup.

Serve this soup Asian-style. Slurp the noodles from the broth with chopsticks, then use an Asian soup spoon to scoop up what’s left. This simple soup comes together in less than 30 minutes. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.

Serves: 6

  • One 8-ounce package soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • One 32-ounce container vegetable broth
  • 6 to 8 medium-sized shiitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons natural granulated sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, to taste
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces soft or firm tofu
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh spinach, well washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped baby bok choy, tatsoi, or mizuna, optional
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Break the noodles in half and cook them in a large saucepan according to package directions until al dente, then drain. Rinse briefly with cool water.

Meanwhile, combine the stock, mushrooms, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ginger in a soup pot. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Stir in the scallions, tofu, spinach, and optional bok choy. Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the noodles. Add two cups additional water, or enough to give the soup a dense but not overly crowded consistency. Season with pepper and some additional soy sauce if needed. Heat through and serve at once.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: Calories: 196;  Total fat: 3g;  Protein: 10g;  Fiber: 3g;  Carbs: 33g;  Sodium: 511mg

 

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