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Mushroom Soba Noodle Soup

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Mushroom Soba Noodle Soup

Mushroom Soba Noodle Soup

Photo © Molly Watson
During those winter months when eating locally is a challenge in chillier climates, this soup is a warming winner. Cultivated mushrooms - or, if you're a serious and lucky locavore, even wild mushrooms you dried from an ample foraging session - and cabbage provide tons of flavor and texture along with protein from tofu and deep flavor from buckwheat soba noodles. Like most soups, it's a flexible recipe - feel free to play around with the flavors and ingredients to make it your favorite.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 cups broth (chicken, pork, vegetable, or dashi are all good choices)
  • 1 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb. oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb. wild arugula (regular arugula or spinach would also work just fine, although with less bite)
  • 1 lb. tofu (firm, soft, silken – whatever you like) cut into three or four big pieces
  • 1/2 lb. soba noodles
  • Some type of chile powder for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat the broth in a medium pot. Add the sake, mirin, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 10 minutes (you want to cook off the alcohol in the sake). Taste and adjust seasoning - adding more mirin for sweetness or more soy for salt, if you like.
  2. Add the cabbage, cover, and cook until the cabbage is completely wilted, about 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and trim and cut the mushrooms into bite-size pieces if they are large.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the broth, cover, and cook until the mushrooms and cabbage are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the arugula, cover, and cook until the arugula leaves are wilted, about 3 minutes. Put large pieces of tofu on top of everything else, cover, and simmer until tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles in the boiling salted water until they're tender to the bite. Drain the noodles and divide them between 4 large bowls.
  6. Top the noodles with the vegetables, one piece of tofu each, and plenty of broth. Garnish with chile powder, if you like.

Makes 4 servings Mushroom Soba Noodle Soup.

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