Sunday, June 16, 2013

Udon Noodles with Tofu & Asparagus in Miso Broth for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Sometimes the craving for a big bowl of thick noodles strikes. Something simple in taste and quick to make. This bowl of Udon Noodles with Tofu and Asparagus in Miso Broth comes from Donna Hay. 

I made a few changes to the recipe such as adding some garlic broth to my soup base--just enough to add a little more flavor without overpowering the miso/dashi broth. I also cooked it a bit differently as Donna Hay has the miso boil for a few minutes and I like to stir mine in at the end to keep the enzymes intact. That and the other changes are noted in red below.

Udon Noodles with Tofu & Asparagus in Miso Broth
The New Cook by Donna Hay
(Serves 4-6)

6 cups (48 fl oz) cold water (I used 1/2 homemade garlic broth)
8 cm / 3-inch piece kombu (dried seaweed)
5 Tbsp dried bonito flakes
2 Tbsp red miso (I used "mellow" red miso)
250 g / 8 oz dried udon noodles
300 g fresh asparagus, trimmed and halved
150 g / 5 oz firm tofu, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
(thinly sliced red chile and sesame seeds for garnish)

Place water and kombu in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. As soon as water boils, remove kombu. Remove water from heat and add bonito flakes. Return saucepan to hat and bring liquid to the boil. As soon as liquid boils, remove it from the heat and set aside for 1 minute. Strain liquid through a fine sieve or muslin.

Place strained liquid in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add a little of the liquid to the miso and mix until smooth. Add miso to pan. Add noodles and asparagus to pan and boil for 6-8 minutes or until al dente. Stir tofu and scallions through noodle mixture. Serve immediately. (Note: To keep the nutrients in the miso, it's better not to boil it. I assembled the soup by cooking the noodles and asparagus separately (the noodles were fresh and just took a couple of minutes in boiling water, then I blanched the asparagus in the same pot. I mixed the miso paste in a small amount of water and stirred it into the hot broth as directed, then put the cooked asparagus and noodles into the serving bowl with the tofu and scallions and ladled the miso broth over it--garnishing with the red chile and sesame seeds.)

Notes/Results: Simple, mellow, comforting. A big bowl of noodles that hits the spot. The noodles and tofu are filling without being heavy. You could change out the veggies--adding what you like. You can also omit the bonito in the broth if you want it vegan--just add a little tamari or soy sauce in its place for flavor. Even with cooking the noodles and blanching the asparagus separately, this soup only took about 20 minutes to make. Easy and tasty--I would make this again. 

We have soups and salads awaiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food is here with a cream-free Asparagus Soup and says, "The entire asparagus - bottom stems (peeled) and spear tops usually end up as stir-fries in my kitchen. However, when tender tips are used for steaming or in en-papillote recipes, the bottom stems are saved for a soup like this Asparagus Soup. A spring light lunch - soup served with "flat-bread" pizza!"

Mireille of Chef Mireille's Global Creations has both a soup and a salad to share this week. Her soup is this homey Moroccan Lamb Soup with Homemade Vegetable Broth. She says,   "On a cool night with torrential rain storms outside as we have been receiving every other day washed out NYC, I made this warm soup. While I wasn't able to replicate the flavor of the Yemen Cafe soup, this one was delicious too, although this one was closer to a Moroccan Soup with the use of Raz al Hanout!"

Chef Mireille's salad is a Sweet Split Pea and Coconut Salad. She says, "This Andhra dessert salad is from Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking. It's a unique sweet salad made with split peas, from the Brahmin's of Andhra Pradesh. ... This was so delicious and the perfect sweet salad to end a meal, especially during the heat of summer when lighter desserts are preferred."

Joanne of Eats Well With Others shares this Southern Fattoush Salad and says, "...we have to learn to get happy about the little things.Things like crispy bits of pita croutons. Sweet and crunchy bites of bell pepper mixed with sweet and juicy bites of cherry tomatoes. A tangy delicious dressing made with mustard we only just realized was expired...a week later...when our boyfriend tried to use it as a fry dipping sauce and actually took the time to read the label, which some of us never rarely do. I mean, really. Who could have even known that mustard has an expiration date on it. Am I right?"

Janet of The Taste Space made two salads this week. First up, this Lemony Cucumber and Chickpea Salad with Dukkah about which she says, "This salad started off a bit ho-hum, with a simple favour profile: cucumbers, chickpeas, quinoa, lemon and balsamic. It was nice, but not something to rave about… I wanted to add some chopped almonds but instead sprinkled the mystery nut blend overtop and it definitely brought this to a wow dish. The lemon really accents and highlights the spices. It tastes great and yet I still cannot confirm what is in this mix. So for now, let’s assume it is dukkah and enjoy it for all it is worth."

Janet's second dish is this Quinoa Pilaf Salad with Lemon and Thyme. Janet says, "The main flavours were classic: lemon and thyme. The difference was in the quinoa. First it was rinsed, dried, toasted, cooked in a minimal amount of broth and then steamed with a towel. I typically use a 1.75:1 broth:quinoa ratio but this was much closer to 1:1. This results in no-mush quinoa. The kernels are separate and flavourful. Due to the limited liquid, you might notice they do not become as big and not as voluminous. They are also not water-logged."

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog is back with Raw Kale and Blueberry Salad with Orange Cashew Dressing. She says, "This raw kale and blueberry salad was delicious. The tartness of the kale combined with the sweetness of the berries and the nuttiness of the sesame seeds was really outrageous!!. ... It looked so pretty, and then I tasted it and was immediately thrilled. In addition, it's amazingly healthy because blueberries and kale are on  the top ten list for powerful antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and other diseases."

Thanks to everyone who joined in this week! If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details. 

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Gluten Free A-Z BlogJune 16, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Your soup really does look comforting. I wish I had a bowl right now.

  2. Yum! Love your soup, Deb. I would never have thought to have such long pieces of asparagus, though. I don't usually cut things in my soup, hehe. :)

  3. Hah! I know--I thought the same thing but the photo in the Donna Hay book had it styled that way and I liked the way it looked. Also, with chopsticks, no need to cut--just pick up and bite! ;-)

  4. Mmm now you've got me craving thick noodles! That soup looks so tasty.

  5. www.teczcape.blogspot.comJune 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Love your udon noodles with asparagus and tofu! Seems that seeing more "green" this summer :)

  6. Pam Armstrong GreerJune 18, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Love Donna Hay! Yours looks as pretty as hers does (Mine rarely does!).


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