*Because we at Sparkle feel that feeding someone in need is one of the greatest acts of kindness, we are to sharing this recipe we first posted a few years ago with you again. *
In the Martin & Sylvia story "Helping Hands," Martin and Sylvia pass the downtown community center where they occasionally serve bread and soup to people who need a little bit of help.
Sometimes we all need the soul-soothing that a big bowl of soup provides, particularly when we’ve had a bad day or are feeling sick. This is our go-to recipe!
While we always stick to the essentials of udon noodles and broth, over the years we’ve varied the other ingredients to make the recipe more our own.
The most important part to me is the ginger. Just the smell of it, as I begin dicing, makes my shoulders relax and my heart glow warmer.
And then, something bright green! In the winter those spots of green get rare, so a handful of snow peas or spinach is a must.
Lastly, I like to finish mine off with a few drops of Sriracha hot sauce. Because we all need the extra heat when it’s freezing outside.
Those are just my favorites, though. The thing that makes this recipe great is that you can completely customize it to reflect the ingredients that make your heart happy.
Another thing that makes it awesome? It’s super easy to pack up for a friend or neighbor who’s feeling under-the-weather, so pass the soul-soothing goodness along!
(Inspired by Nigella Lawson’s “Noodle Soup for Needy People”) (Serves 4-6)
1 package udon noodles
For the broth
6 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
a thumb-sized nub of fresh ginger
1 clove of garlic
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil
Ideas for toss-ins
Spinach or Kale
Ideas for toppings
A fried or poached egg
Begin by pouring the stock into a large pot. Finely dice the ginger and garlic, and add it to the pot. Add the soy sauce and sesame seed oil, and bring the broth to a boil.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions. When the noodles are done rinse them well with cold water to halt the cooking.
If you’re going to eat this soup right away, toss the “toss-ins” in the broth to cook for just a minute or two. Then turn the heat off on the broth. Put a pile of noodles in each bowl, and ladle over a scoop of the broth and veggies. Top with peppers, sriracha, a few sprigs of cilantro, a cooked egg–whatever you have in your fridge that looks good. The veggies will continue to cook in the hot broth, so tuck-in right away before they have a chance to get soggy.
If you’re packaging this up to take for a friend, it’s better to leave the veggies uncooked. I recommend using two mason jars. Fill one with broth. Fill the other half way with cold noodles and half way with pre-chopped veggies. Your friend then need only heat the broth, pour it over the veggies and noodles, and let it sit for a minute or two before enjoying.
About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.