There are definitely days when all my body seems to want is a piping hot bowl of broth overflowing with fresh veggies. I have learned to take it as a clear sign that I am fighting something off – and I honor the request (or craving, in this case).
Fortunately, broth-based soups couldn’t be easier to make. Some water, a bit of seasoning and few fresh veggies, that’s all you need. I like to throw in some soba noodles as well. They give the soup a bit more heft and staying power, making it more of a meal.
Bring on the Buckwheat
Soba noodles are traditional Japanese noodles made using buckwheat flour. Often mistaken as a grain, buckwheat is actually a member of the rhubarb family. Because they are gluten-free, soba noodles make a great pasta alternative for people suffering from celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities.
Buckwheat is also a wonderful source of fiber, aiding the digestive process as well as helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.
8 oz package soba noodles
1 tablespoon coconut oil (olive oil works as well)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
4 cups water
1 veggie bouillon cube
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled ginger
1/3 cup mirin
soy sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons ume plum vinegar (rice vinegar works well too)
8 ozs flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain (you can also substitute baked or firm tofu)
4 baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 scallions, chopped
½ cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until they are al dente, about 8 minutes. Set aside for now.
- In a separate soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and continue cooking until it begins to soften. Add the ginger. Continue cooking, stirring often until the ginger starts to become fragrant, about 1 minute or so.
- Add the water and bring to a simmer. Break up your bouillon cube and stir into the pot as well. Once the bouillon has dissolved, add the mirin and vinegar. Try a taste to see if it may need a bit more flavor. Add a bit of salt or soy sauce if you think it needs something more.
- Stir in the bok choy, followed by the steak (or tofu). Continue to simmer over medium heat until the bok choy is tender (but not mushy) and the steak is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Be careful not to overcook.
- Remove from the heat. Add noodles to the botton of 4 small bowls. Ladle the broth mixture into each bowl and top with carrots and scallions.