Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Best Soup I've Ever Eaten

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kevin Crafts

1qt. broth (I use homemade chicken broth)
2 quarter-size coins fresh ginger, smashed
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed
8 ounces fresh think wheat udon noodles
1 TBL. Soy sauce
2 cups chopped bok choy

Other additives:
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp chili oil
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup green onions
Roast duck, port chop or chicken

If using meat set up to cook so that it will be ready to slice 20 minutes after starting soup process.

Simmer broth, ginger and garlic covered for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes remove garlic and ginger, add noodles and soy sauce let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add any veggies and simmer for three minutes.

Remove from heat add any oils and sliced meats.

I found this recipe on the Sunset Magazine site a few weeks ago and have since then made it three times. I have had a lot of years of cooking but for whatever reason my soups tend to taste like dirty socks, but not this one! Just to clarify this one DOES NOT taste like dirty socks. It is quite amazing. Probably due to the simplicity of the recipe. When I have made it I have included a thinly sliced pork chop, lots of chili and sesame oil but none of the other add-ins.

For the broth whenever I cook a chicken I always drain off the juices and freeze it for later use. I have found this is the best way get a truly tasty chicken broth without all the added sodium. If you are a vegetarian or vegan save your veggie scraps throughout the week and boil them down on Sunday before you start the week again. You can freeze these broths in ice cube trays and then put them in baggies once frozen solid for easy broth use in the future.

As for the rest of the ingredients go there are a number of great benefits to this soup.  Boy Choy is a new best friend of mine, I used to see it as a close relative to celery which as far as veggies go is sort of low on my list. But it is actually really high in potassium, vitamin c, folic acid and a slew of antioxidants. If you’ve never tried it, don’t be scared it has a very pleasant mild flavor and the leafy green parts don’t get soggy and gross when you cook them. it I have already written a love letter to garlic on my blog so no need to go down that road again, but  ginger is an incredible ingredient and ads a wonder fresh flavor to the soup.  It also does wonders to boost the immune system,  relieve inflammation and pain as well as help protect kidneys from long term damage.  And of course when choosing pastas of any kind sticking to whole wheat will be the best choice for your digestive track and blood sugar levels.

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