Growing up, my mom would make a “kitchen sink” noodle soup, which was usually some combination of leftovers from the previous week, braised tofu and daikon, and dried noodles simmering in a mushroom and soy sauce-flavored broth, served with a healthy dash of sesame oil. I’ve never tried making it on my own – my mom never had a written down recipe, and there’s something so comforting about the dish that I’m slightly scared of making it in case it goes wrong.
But noodle soup seemed perfect for my cooking schedule nowadays. I currently cook two dishes on the weekend: one is usually a quinoa or pasta salad of sorts that I eat for lunch, and the other is one giant dish for dinner that incorporates all the veggies and protein that I need. Noodle soup is also easy to store and reheat for leftovers: have a giant bowl with just the noodles and veggies, and another with just the soup.
I decided to make a variation of the noodle soup I’ve grown up with: instead of relying on leftovers and the braised tofu for a heavier, winter-friendly soup, I used sautéed vegetables, pan-fried marinated tofu, and a lighter miso and “chickenless” broth. It was really easy to prepare everything. As I boiled water and cooked the dried noodles, I cut up and pan-fried the teriyaki baked tofu from Trader Joe’s, and then separately sautéed some asparagus, red onion, kale, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, bok choy, and mustard greens (from my garden!). On the side, I heated up the soup base, which was just a simple broth using the Better than Bouillon no chicken base, some shredded carrots, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, and some miso.
In the end, I had one bowl full of veggies and noodles (with a generous helping of sesame oil to make sure the noodles didn’t stick to each other), and a pot full of broth with some extra veggies. To serve, I ladled some broth into a bowl of noodles, and topped with some more sesame oil. Easy!
I really liked this dish – it was definitely lighter and more veggie heavy than the noodle soups I’m used to, but it didn’t lack in flavor. I was really happy with how well it held up as leftovers; the scallions in the broth got pretty wilted and sad-looking, but other than that, everything was just as good the fourth day as it was on the first. I also ran out of broth at the end, so I had the noodles and veggies on their own, which was still really tasty. Overall, a great choice for a busy week!