Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Veggie Soup with Chinese Noodles

This is by far my favorite quick go-to soup whenever I am short of time or want a soup that will not fill me up too much.  I have been making this soup since I moved to the city 3 years ago.  Truthfully, I used to make this soup when I was first living in Manhattan, spending so much money on my rent because I was terrified if I went outside of the city, I would be in terrible danger.  What a crazy girl!  I was convinced that Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx were the worst possible places one could find themselves in.  I was of course severely wrong, but didn't know it at the time and was busy paying my multiple thousand dollar-a-month rent.  That meant I had to be careful about everything else I spent money on, including and especially food.  There was a market four blocks up from where I lived, but I would purchase one plastic bag and the total would be more than $50 and I could barely make a meal and wonder where all the money went.  And don't get me wrong, I am a very thrifty shopper, it's just that there wasn't any possible way for me to be thrifty when I was paying ten times more that I should just because I was living in the city

It was about that time that my then roommate and I found out about China Town.  It was so crowded and the hundreds of Chinese people pushing you and themselves through the thick crowd initially really freaked me out, especially all the people shouting in heavily accented English "miss miss, handbag! handbag! dvd! dvd!", followed by shoving the item in my face.  But I quickly got used to it and then found my little place over on Mulberry Street that I have gone to now for over three years for my stock of wonton wrappers, nut milk bags, rice crackers, sesame oils, etc.  I love that little place, and that's where I got the idea for this soup after having purchased 3 gigantic plastic bags of groceries for like $25 and being able to eat for 1 1/2 weeks.  So here is this amazingly simple, delicious soup!

Veggie Soup with Chinese Noodles:

Deliciously simple soup with lots of red pepper flakes!
 Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, small diced, about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 green pepper, small diced
6 large kale leaves, thick center removed and leaves thinly sliced
5-6 cups water
2 tablespoons no-chicken boullion base
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 circles/nests of quick cook Chinese Noodles or noodles of choice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste

1.  In a medium-large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  When it is hot, add the onions, garlic, carrots and pepper and saute for a few minutes. 
2.  Add the water, boullion, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cook just until carrots are tender.  Add the quick cooking noodles and the kale and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just tender.  Add the sesame oil and season to taste.
3.  Ladle the hot soup into soup bowls and top with as many pepper flakes as you can handle.  Serve!  It's simple, quick and delicious every time!



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