The other day I started to sense a little panic inside myself about the flu that’s been going around. While some people run to the pharmacy, I run to my kitchen. The most critical thing to have on hand, in my opinion, is some homemade broth. I wrote about how much I depend on my chicken stock a while back and I was super bummed to see that I was completely out! But that didn’t stop me.
I decided to do things a little different this time and set forth to make a vegetable broth. Onions, celery, carrots, tons of garlic, astragalus root and kombu went into the pot. Then I went grocery shopping for some bok choy, tofu and shiitake mushrooms.
I was very surprised by how much the oldest boy loved it. He slurped it down and was ready for seconds in no time. He and Daddy argued over who was gonna eat more. That was four days ago. This morning the older boy asked if I would make it again? Fo sho!
This recipe comes from one my favorite cookbooks titled, “Cooking for the Whole Family” by Cynthia Lair. The recipe in the book calls for buckwheat noodles (yakisoba) but I didn’t wanna risk eating any wheat so I substituted rice spaghetti noodles from, you guessed it, Trader Joe’s. The recipe also calls for 4 cups of water, not broth, but I wanted to take it up a notch in it’s medicinal properties.
I should also note that we don’t eat a lot of tofu around here, or soy in any form for that matter. In this case, I went ahead and added it for the texture, sort of as a treat. If you’re curious about the controversy surrounding soy read about the dangers of soy at the Dr. Mercola website.
1 (8 ounce) package soba noodles or rice spaghetti noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 onion, cut into thin half-moons
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
5 shiitake mushrooms, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups water or broth
1/3 cup tamari or shoyu
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cups chopped bok choy
2 scallions, cut into thin slices, for garnish
Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. If using rice noodles give them a quick rinse with cold water.
Heat oil in a 4-quart pot. Add onion and garlic; saute over medium heat until onion begins to soften. Add carrot and mushroom pieces; saute a few minutes more. Add water, tamari, tofu and ginger. Increase heat until mixture begins to simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add bok choy and simmer until leaves are bright green.
Serve by placing a handful of noodles in each serving dish. Ladle broth and vegetables over the noodles and garnish with the scallions.