I haven’t driven since December 13th (recovering from surgery), and my pantry in my new home is not yet installed, so some of my foodstuffs are not readily find-able. But I was in the mood for a nice winter-body warming soup. Asian. Pho? Hot pot? Ramen? Tom Yum? Something else? It’s cold out there! Winter Is Coming? Nope, I’m afraid it’s here!
I also had half a pack of spaghetti-shaped white yam noodles to use up. Grain and legume-free, these would go Paleo nicely.
And, over New Years, I’d made a crock pot full of stock – this time containing just about anything in my freezer: chicken, beef, lamb. I was surprised I hadn’t run into pork bones. Anyhow, I had made that up then, adding onion and a splash of vinegar (the latter to draw out nutrients from the bones and collagen, not enough to give it flavor. Home made stock, unless you know what you plan to do with it, should be mild and innocuous, allowing for any culinary direction you want, later. So I don’t salt or pepper it, or add seasonings when I make it. Onions are about it! I cook it down to condense it, then aliquot it out and freeze it.
There was a small amount I hadn’t frozen, and that became the basis for this body-warming soup.
So… let’s begin!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: Not needed
Serves: 1 as the only course. 2 if followed by a main or a salad
Leftovers? Yes, just re-heat (veggies will be less crisp, of course)
An Eastern Asian Soup
- 0.5 quarts (450 mL) of stock (chicken, beef, pork, or combo)
- A little onion from that stock (or, pan fry in a little oil about a quarter of a medium onion, roughly chopped to bite size. Pan fry until translucent and soft.
- 1 bacon-sized strip of pork belly, not smoked. Cut into 3 or 4 pieces.
- 5-7 regular sized Brussels sprouts (I used two of my monster sprouts), coarsely chopped. On the other hand, you could use several slices of cabbage (green, Napa…) as Brussels sprouts are effectively simply mini-cabbage…
- 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
- 3 button mushrooms, sliced
- 4 ounces (120 mL) white yam noodles, rinsed. Optionally, cut the strands for ease of eating. I won’t tell… The brand I used was Pasta Zero (as in zero carbs).
- 1 green onion/scallion, chopped
- 1 medium-cooked egg (mine ended up a little softer than I wanted, but go from that stage all the way to hard-cooked, your preferences at work!)
- 1/4 teaspoon, more or less, of sesame oil.
- 2 tablespoons low sodium gluten free tamari (or coconut aminos)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons ponzu citrus marinate (the clear yellow stuff), or lacking that, another 1.5 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce. Since this is salty, you can dial back this to 1.5 tablespoons.
- 1/4 teaspoon Thai green curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- fresh-ground pepper to taste (I used about 1/8 teaspoon, for which I didn’t measure)
- Optional Korean red pepper powder or similar (I used 1/4 teaspoon which yielded a mild heat, depending on how you define mild.)
Rehydrate your stock to your preferred level of stock for making soup.
Add to saucepan along with: onion, pork belly, tamari/coconut aminos, vinegar, ponzu marinate if using, fish sauce, Thai green curry powder, Chinese 5-spice powder, ground pepper, and optional red pepper powder. (If you used the red pepper, just add the minimal, you can adjust at the end.)
Bring to a boil, then drop down to a light simmer. Cook about 7-8 minutes, so that the pork belly cooks through.
Add the Brussels sprouts or cabbage, and the garlic. Cook another couple minutes at that simmer, stirring once or twice.
Add the mushrooms. Cook another 2 or three minutes, with a stir or two.
Add the noodles, and cook for another couple, again stirring once or twice.
Pour into a bowl (this serves one as a complete dinner), or into two bowls (if this is intended as the soup course to some main food item). Splash on about 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil into the bowl (or each bowl, as the case may be). Carefully slice the egg in half, and add to the bowl/s accordingly. Scatter the scallion pieces as appropriate.
If you have these, it would be ideal to add to the serving bowls: fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) and/or Thai basil, both slightly chopped.
Note, do play around with the veggies and meats you add. Bean sprouts would have been lovely here! Likewise subbing oyster or shiitake mushrooms for the white buttons would add an entirely new dimension. Seafood, such as shrimp or squid (added near the end) would be tasty. Chinese broccoli (very different than Western broccoli as far as flavor profile goes) would be welcome. Water chestnuts? (I know I have some of those in the house, in some box or another…) Want to change the noodles? Simply go have fun — you only need a few Asian basics to make a go of this sort of heart-warming winter soup!
This would be a good dish for a Whole 30, should one use coconut aminos instead of the soy-based tamari. (I plan to do a Whole 30 later this year, sometime after I can drive myself again.)
This recipe blog post is linked up over at Fiesta Friday. Your cohosts this week are Shinta @ Caramel Tinted Life and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens Ah, yes, the second co-host is me. Great fun, I get to read lots and lots of tasty items!
This recipe is also shared over at What’s For Dinner? Come drop on by and find your dinner…