Saturday, January 16, 2016

Thai Veggie-Udon Bowl

This vegetable soup bowl is a lot of fun because it combines hot, savory broth and noodles and raw, crunchy veggies and and herbs.  The broth is flavored with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, and you can add any Asian-style noodles you like. We used udon, but I think rice noodles or soba noodles would also be delicious here.  The key to this soup is in the toppings -- you want a nice variety of thinly sliced veggies, plus fresh mint for an extra punch of flavor and peanuts for crunch.  This would be a good choice for a group of picky eaters, since everyone can top their bowl exactly how they like.  Because it's assembled with hot and raw ingredients, the soup does not keep well, so make just as much as you plan to eat.

Thai Veggie-Udon Bowl (adapted from Cooking Light)
Serves 4

8 ounces udon noodles
1 tsp canola oil
1 T minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3-1/2 cups lower salt vegetable or chicken broth
2-1/2 T lower sodium soy sauce
1 cup grated carrots (2-4 carrots depending on their size)
1 bell pepper, very thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
5 T minced fresh herbs (I used mint, but choose from basil and/or cilantro as well)
6 T chopped dry-roasted peanuts
Sriracha, to taste

1. Cook the noodles according to package directions and drain well.
2. Meanwhile, heat a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the stock and soy sauce, and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Divide the noodles among four serving bowls.  Pour over the broth.  Arrange the veggies, herbs, and peanuts on top of the noodles, and add a drizzle of Sriracha if you like you soup spicy.
4. If you are planning leftovers, store the stock, noodles, and vegetables separately.

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