Winters in Wisconsin can be harsh and unforgiving. From dry air to brutal winds and short days, the weather can leave me tired and depleted. In fact, as I write this we are in the middle of a “polar vortex” and the temperature outside is roughly zero degrees. Thankfully, I’m curled up under a blanket in my living room, dreaming of my next tropical vacation, and watching episodes of The League.
Because the cold weather makes me crave warm, comforting meals that are both hearty and nourishing, this week I’ve created a soup that will keep us healthy and happy during these arctic blasts. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this dish is like eating a flavor rainbow. With carrots, tomatoes, pea pods, cabbage, broccolini, and rainbow chard, the veggies are the star of this soup. But it is the ginger that turns up the heat!
Vegetable Noodle Soup (Serves 6)
1 tsp. or minced ginger
1 clove of minced garlic (about 1 tsp.)
1 cup of sliced carrots
1 cup of whole pea pods
3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 cup of shredded purple cabbage
3 cups of broccolini, flowers and stems (leaves are okay too)
2 cups of cubed extra firm tofu, or baked tofu that you can find in the deli section of your grocery store
1/2 cup of cilantro (I prefer to use stems because they hold up during the cooking process)
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
5 cups of veggie stock
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 pkg. of soba noodles
Cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and green onion for garnish
Vietnamese chili garlic sauce for finishing (optional)
In a stock pot, heat vegetable oil and add the ginger and garlic, cook until tender. Add in the veggies, tofu and cilantro, sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir until the colors brighten (like the photo below).
Add 5 cups of veggie stock and the juice of 1/2 a lime. Cook over a medium heat for the first 5 minutes, then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
After the soup has been cooking for about 10 minutes, begin preparing the soba noodles per the packaging instructions. They usually take 8-10 minutes to cook. I keep the noodles and soup separate to prevent the noodles from getting over cooked or from soaking up too much broth.
When everything has finished cooking, it’s time to dish it up! This soup is best served in a deep bowl that can hold plenty of veggies. Add a small serving of noodles to the bottom of each bowl and then cover with the vegetable soup. To garnish, add cilantro leaves, green onion, a lime wedge, and I love to use a dab of chili garlic sauce for additional heat.
Enjoy! And stay warm. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out Jessica’s cream of mushroom soup.