Japanese Soba Soup

Over the past couple of week I’ve eaten eggnog pound cake, banana pound cake, my mother’s infamous and incredibly rich peanut butter balls, my sister’s red velvet cupcakes, ham, roasted beef and what seems like a million other heavy dishes. Now my body is craving lighter food, which is why I was so happy a soup cookbook crossed my desk. Enlightened Soups by Camilla Saulsbury features over 135 light and healthy soups that take less than an hour to make—perfect for a Busy Hedonist.

Some of the soups I plan on making over the next few weeks: curried couscous, spinach & roasted tomato, Harira (Moroccan chicken with chickpeas & lentils), Tunisian aromatic fish soup, gingered fish & watercress soup and Tuscan faro & bean. So if you’re feeling full from holiday fare, have soup for dinner and lunch.

I am starting my soup frenzy with:

Japanese Soba

½ lb dried soba
8 cups water
4 tsp instant powdered dashi
½ cup low sodium soy sauce, plus additional to taste
3 ½ teaspoons sugar
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into coin shapes
1 10-ounce bag pre-washed spinach, coarsely chopped
¾ of a 16-ounce package fresh silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 –inch cubes
¼ cup yellow miso (or to taste)
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped

Make the soup
Cook the soba noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5-6 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in colander and rinse under cold water until cool.

Place the water in a large saucepan set over high heat. Bring to a boil. Stir in the dashi. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 miutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sugar. Cook 5 minutes.

Add the carrots. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and tofu. Cook 1 minute. In a small bowl stir together miso and ½ cup of the hot soup broth. Pour the mixture back into the pan. Season with additional soy sauce to taste.

Place noodles in bowl (however many you’re serving; yields up to six servings, but I personally like a heaping bowl of soup), ladle soup over them and garnish with scallions.

My go-to market for Asian ingredients, including the ones listed:
Hong Kong Supermarket/157 Hester St at Elizabeth/212-966-4943

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