Have I got a healthy, healing soup for you! Soba noodle soup it is and the cooking time is very brief. Most of the active time is spent preparing and sauteing the vegetables while bringing water to boil for the noodles and heating the stock. Overall time is about 30 minutes.
2 – 3 oz. bundles soba (Japanese buckwheat) noodles
3 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 generous inch ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 – 1 serrano pepper, minced (seeds and all)
6-8 dried shittake mushrooms*
1/2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
8-10 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
freshly ground pepper
1. Heat water in large saucepan to boil for noodles. Prepare all vegetables.
2. Meanwhile, in a second saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil. Rinse off dried mushrooms and place in boiling water. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms with slotted spoon and slice when cool enough to handle. Return sliced mushrooms to pot, and keep stock at a low simmer. Add 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil to stock.
3. Heat oil in a frying pan or skillet. Saute ginger and half of the minced pepper, about 30 seconds. Add onion and sauté until softening and becoming translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté about 2 minutes. Put sauteed vegetables into simmering stock.
4. When water is boiling, cook the soba noodles. (Follow directions for cooking, usually about 3 minutes cooking time.) Once cooked, drain noodles and set aside.
5. Add spinach leaves and the rest of the minced serrano to stock and turn up heat slightly, cooking briefly (1-3 minutes) while the noodles cook.
6. Serve noodles in two bowls, cover with hot stock and vegetables, topping with freshly ground pepper and generous basil.
* You can use fresh mushrooms instead of dried ones, depending on what you have on hand. Dried mushrooms help add flavor to the stock, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them. If using fresh, slice 4-6 mushrooms and saute about 3-4 minutes in Step 3. (First saute onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the zucchini.)