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Simple Noodle Soup

It’s Sunday evening and I’m tucked up in bed, slurping noodle soup and thinking I’ll keep my Christmas tree up for a while longer just cuz it makes me happy to see it there all twinkly and serene.

It’s been a wonderfully restful weekend spent in my pjs reading books, watching movies and getting extra sleep. Just what I needed to get rejuvenated and re-focused for this first week of 2010.

I’ve been reading voraciously the past few months, usually having at least 4 books on the go. At the moment I’m working through the hilarious and thought-provoking “The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to live the Bible as Literally as Possible”, soul-nourishing “Traveling Mercies”, goal-refining “The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging” and “The Pianist” the heart-rending book on which the movie was based. Books are such a comfort, opening my heart to new ways of thinking, believing and experiencing, tearing down wrong conceptions and false teachings, freeing me to be myself. I love them. 🙂

I’ve been eating noodle soup every day, a habit sparked by a visit to my folks’ house a while back when we indulged in Top Ramen for the first time in ages. 🙂 I suppose “indulged” doesn’t seem the right word for such common fare, but when you add a few shots of soy sauce, a couple drops of Tabasco, and a sprinkling of green onion, that simple bag of petrified noodles becomes transcendent.

Of course, being almost completely devoid of any health-giving properties, Top Ramen is last minute, emergency ration fare, and I’ve been making healthier versions with soba noodles or whole-grain angel hair pasta.

I start with the broth, either hearty beef or chicken. My latest discovery is a divine concoction by College Inn featuring chicken broth infused with a blend of coconut, curry, garlic and coriander flavors. DELISH!

I add a sprinkling of green onion to the broth and set it to simmer while I get the noodle water boiling.

While soba noodles are my noodle of choice these days, tonight’s option is limited to thin whole wheat spaghetti. Yep, I really need to get to the grocery store. 🙂

While the noodles cook I chop more green onion, cilantro and grab the bottle of soy sauce.

Once the noodles are done, drained and dumped into a soup bowl, I ladle in steaming broth, sprinkle scallions and cilantro, dash in some soy sauce and give it a stir. Mmm. I love the ease of preparation and simplicity of ingredients. The hot, salty broth, hearty, grainy noodles and fresh toppings make it a perfectly satisfying, perfectly light evening meal. Just what I want to kick off the New Year on a healthy note.

And, as a little bonus, several of you requested the Dijon Butter recipe I used for the Brussels Sprouts the other day. Here it is 🙂

Dijon Butter
(From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

1 garlic clove, put through press
1/4 pound butter
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard (I like grainy style)
1 large shallot finely diced or 2 Tbsp minced scallion
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Soften butter and blend with remaining ingredients. For the Brussels Sprouts I melt the butter. It makes it easier to coat.

Simple Noodle Soup

1 carton broth
2 handfuls of soba noodles or thin whole grain pasta
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
handful of cilantro, chopped
soy sauce to taste

Combine broth and half of scallions, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cook noodles and drain (rinse if using soba noodles), pour into soup bowls. Cover with broth, sprinkle with remaining scallions and cilantro, and add soy sauce to taste.

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