My partner for this month's Secret Recipe Club was Claire of Claire K Creations. This month, my sweetie was sick and so I was in search of a chicken noodle soup recipe. Claire had a fantastic recipe with an Asian twist that seemed like it would be a great choice. I had to make a few substitutions because the grocery store was pretty sold out of things -- we're on our millionth blizzard of the year here in the Boston area! -- but the soup was still amazing. Ginger, shallots, and garlic make the broth super-fragrant, and the combination of chicken, carrots, and cauliflower is both filling and healthy. You can definitely be flexible here -- snow peas, broccoli, or fennel would all be very tasty. The soup is ladled over udon noodles, which are one of my favorites. Finally, you can never go wrong with a sprinkle of fresh, green herbs on top -- they just brighten up the whole dish. Fresh mint is fantastic, but cilantro, scallions, or parsley would be lovely too. This soup will warm you up on a cold day, even if there's another blizzard on the way!
Chicken Udon Noodle Soup (adapted from Claire K Creations, original recipe here)
3 ounces udon noodles
1 T sesame oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 small chicken breast, diced (or sub shredded, cooked chicken if you have it on hand)
3 small carrots, diced
2 cups cauliflower, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Fresh mint, to serve
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook according to package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and ginger, and saute for about 5 minutes, until soft and transparent. Add the chicken, carrots, and cauliflower and saute for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
4. Rinse off several mint leaves and line them up in a stack. Thinly slice.
5. To serve, add noodles to a bowl. Top with a few ladles of soup. Sprinkle with fresh mint leaves to serve.