Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mark Bittman's Curry Soup Noodles--for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays and the Spice Caravan at IHCC

This hearty soup with a kick, Mark Bittman's Curry Soup Noodles is doing double-duty for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays and for our "Spice Caravan" theme this week over at I Heart Cooking Clubs. With thick noodles in a coconut milk soup broth flavored with turmeric, coriander, tamarind paste, red chili paste and lemongrass, it fits the bill nicely for both.

The recipe can be found in Mark Bittman's "The Best Recipes in the World: More Than 1,000 International Dishes to Cook at Home" on page 125.

A dish that combines the style of Chinese soup noodles with the flavors of Indian curries. This version, made entirely with fresh ingredients, is probably superior to any you've had at a restaurant.

Curry Soup Noodles (Malaysia)
"The Best Recipes in the World" by Mark Bittman
(Makes 4 Servings)

3 garlic cloves, peeled
3 shallots, peeled
1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 fresh chilies, preferably Thai, stemmed and seeded or hot pepper flakes to taste
1 Tbsp tamarind paste, optional
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp corn, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and smashed
1 quart beef, chicken, or vegetable stock, preferably homemade, or water
salt to taste
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts, trimmed (I used snow peas instead)
1 cup coconut milk
4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
1/2 lb tofu, pressed and sliced
1 cucumber peeled, cut in half, seeds removed, and sliced
(I added 1 lime, cut into thick wedges)

Put the first 7 ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until pasty. Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lemongrass and stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the noodles and bean sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the noodles are tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and transfer the noodles and bean sprouts to large serving bowls.

Add the coconut milk to the curry soup and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and divide the soup among the bowls of noodles. Top the noodles with the eggs, tofu, and cucumber and serve.

Notes/Results: Very good--hearty and filling with lots of flavor and some kick from the spice. I mostly kept the recipe the same, substituting some snow peas from my CSA box for the bean sprouts (not a bean sprout fan), and adding some chopped cilantro on top. I used chicken stock for the base, lite coconut milk to cut some of the fat, and sambal oelek (red chili paste) for the Thai chilies. Wanting to keep my shopping down to one store, and not finding good fresh Chinese noodles, I subbed some regular fresh egg pasta. This was good with the tofu and egg but it would also be good with chicken or shrimp. I noticed that you don't really see the bright golden broth in the pictures because it is underneath all of the noodles, but trust me it is there. Good spicy comfort food--I would make this again.

You can check out the spice-filled dishes the other IHCC participants made this week by going to the IHCC website here and following the links.

Now let's take a look in the Souper Sunday kitchen and see who is here this week:

The multi-talented Joanne from Eats Well With Others is here with both a soup and a sandwich (we'll talk about the sandwich below). Her Caribbean Pumpkin Soup with Okra, is her entry for her fun Regional Recipes-Haiti event. Joanne says that this soup is the "vegetarian version of Joumou, a Haitian pumpkin soup, that I found in The Tropical Vegan Kitchen. I decided to add some okra into it because okra is prominent in French Creole cuisine. And because I saw it at the Farmer's Market and couldn't resist."

A warm welcome to Yenta Mary from Food Floozie, joining us from Michigan and making her first appearance at Souper Sundays and here with a Curried Lentil Soup. A shopping trip to a local Indian market yielded all kinds of treasures. She says, "And so, what did I make with my purchases of red lentils and coconut milk??? Why, a fabulous lentil soup with spinach, of course! I served the soup with some paneer-filled parathi and a fabulous snack mix that Jeremy had picked out for me, which I happily stirred into my soup; it had lots of crispy nibbly things and some raisins and just a hint of spice ... sigh ... and perfectly complemented the soup." Nice to have you with us Yenta Mary!

Christine from Kits Chow made a classic this week, she says, "I have been making Senate Bean Soup from a recipe I found in a cookery book on American food. It is a delicious soup but I wondered how it compared to the real thing. Then I thought, why don't I go to the source. I googled and found the recipe in the US Senate website. The bean soup is so famous that the recipe is posted there! They give two recipes. One is for five gallons of soup. Bean soup is on the menu of the Senate restaurant every day. It is a very popular soup and I can understand why. It is absolutely delicious."

Another new face this week is The Meal Planner from Meal Planning 101 who has this Creamy Dill Pasta Salad to share this week, modeled after a favorite coffee shop side dish. She says, "Probably my favorite pasta salad of all time. But then again I am both a lemon and a dill lover. The freshness of the lemon juice is lovely and the dressing isn't too heavy with a ton of mayo. I like the more tangy flavor of the sour cream.I like using the tri-color rotini because it makes for a prettier salad, but you could always use regular or even whole wheat to bump up the fiber and protein. I've even used the smaller version of penne called pennette and that worked wonderful as well." We are happy to have you with us and hope you "plan" to join in more Souper Sundays! ;-)

It's so nice to have girlichef back at Souper Sundays and here with Mark Bittman's Spicy Pork Salad. She says, "This was another quick and easy idea from Kitchen Express. I actually changed to salad part up a bit so I wouldn't have to run to market, but the Spicy Pork part, that stayed the same. Thin pork chops coated in a spicy yet sweet and oh so flavorful rub will grill up super quick and add a lot of flavor on top of a simple tossed salad! Of course, you could use this rub on any cut of pork (or chicken, etc) with delicious results!...a great, quick salad that will let you get back outside to enjoy the beautiful day!"

Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies also jumped on the Bittman bandwagon with his spicy Houria--Spicy Carrot Salad. She says, "What to do with a big bag of carrots, part one, is this great spicy carrot salad, Houria! Now you know that if I made it, it is over-the-top spicy - but you can control your own spice by adding the harissa slowly to taste.
Great for grill night as it can be made ahead, I think the leftovers would also be great on a burger or in a wrap. Delish! Only 8.5 lbs of carrots to go...Great with grilled meats! Especially Greek, Middle Eastern, North African or similarly spiced fare.

Another newbie to Souper Sundays this week, Priya from Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes, joining us from Rancho Cucamonga, California, with a healthy Quinoa and Apple-Raisin-Almond Salad. She says, "Lately, so many of you have been tempting and inspiring me, cooking with with Quinoa, that I had to cook with it and taste it. So, here is one of my very first quinoa recipe taken from "Family Fun" magazine (edition May 2010). I was reading at my son's math's class waiting room :) I had prepared it when one of my very good friends came for lunch yesterday. Even they had never tasted or actually even heard of quinoa. It was liked by all. :)" Welcome Priya!

And our final new face sliding into the round-up just minutes under the wire, is Nithu from Nithu's Kitchen with two salads to share. First up her Spicy Fruit Salad about which Nithu says, "This is an easy to make yummy salad. This is bit different from the usual salad I make. Here, I used red chilly powder instead of pepper powder. This addition gave a fine colour when it got mixed with the fruits. The fruit salad looked colourful as well it tasted too good."

And for her second dish, a healthy Cauliflower and Orange Salad, she says, "This cauliflower salad is the one which I make often. But this time, I added few veggies extra. With all those additions, it tasted all the more yum." Thanks for joining in this week Nithu.

Kim from Stirring the Pot made a plethora of Ellie Krieger recipes from her "So Easy" cookbook, including this tasty sandwich. She says, "The sauce on Ellie's Asian Chicken Wrap is genius and will take the blah's out of your normal everyday brown bag lunch. Ellie makes a delicious, spicy, slightly sweet, Asian-inspired sauce that really jazzes up any plain old sandwich. Best of all, these wraps can be made ahead and are even better the next day. I have a feeling this will be my husband's new favorite lunch box treat."

Joanne from Eats Well With Others also has a sandwich this week, taking a classic sandwich to a whole new level with this Roasted Plantain and Peanut Butter Sandwich. Joanne says, "I found myself craving a good old peanut butter sandwich (no surprise there). The roasted plantain and PB combo is something that I've been thinking about for a while now. It's an adult version of the classic PB+banana that we all know and love. Something that tastes familiar and yet not. And by this I mean, absolutely amazing."

A nice full kitchen this week with of lots of delicious dishes from old friends and new. Thanks to everyone who participated. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. Thanks Deb;-) for adding my entries..nice roundup..

  2. Yum! I love that soup!!
    Love the eggie on top too, so inviting. I want to pluck it off and eat it with my fingers.
    Thanks for doing the round-up Deb, lots of great dishes.

  3. OMG, Deb, that looks awesome. Love the combination of spices and tamarind with the coconut milk. Like the idea of the eggs as well. I definitely need to try this one!:-)

  4. What a delicious roundup! Lots of yummy recipes to share this week.

    Love the curry soup noodles. So far I've only paired curry with lentils and potatoes, but noodles sound even better. I love it:D

  5. Deb, nice roiund up. I love your soup. Going to have to make that one! Also planning on joining all of you.

  6. Well, you know how i feel about coconut curries. And Bittman (swoon). So I'm pretty sure I would love this. Especially with all fresh ingredients!

    Loving the round-up.

  7. Excellent pictures and recipes! Your soup sounds excellent, I love the egg on top! Thanks!

  8. As always a great round up. The curry soup with noodles is now on my list of must try recipes

  9. Great recipes this week! Your soup noodles sound so delicious. I'm craving something just like that right now.

    I was in Crate & Barrel over the weekend and saw one of those handy mango cutters you featured the other day. Thought of you. I passed on getting one because we rarely have mangoes here. Back in Brazil I would have been all over it though. :)

  10. Another excellent round-up! Your soup looks really good! And I really like the sound of that cookbook. It's going on my wish list!

  11. I love curry soup noodles :) It really makes for a very satisfying meal!

  12. The soup with noodles sounds terrific! Great roundup!

  13. Sounds like an awesome soup.
    Nice round-up, too.

  14. I've got that Bittman cookbook and can't believe that recipe eluded me. Looks fabulous! Have to give it a try.


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