Soup is one of my favorite cold-weather foods. It’s warm, comforting, and filling. It’s forgiving: you can tweak amounts and substitute ingredients and still come out with something perfect. Try that with a bread recipe.
The only drawback to soup is that many heartier soups are full of meat, cream, butter, and other fattening ingredients. Hey, I like a good bowl of fattening soup as much as the next girl, but sometimes I need something just as warm but not as calorie-laden. Enter my version of Thai Noodle Soup:
16 oz. package rice noodles
Assorted vegetables (such as): 1 squash, 1 onion, 1 tomato, 3 carrots
4 – 6 cups broth (use the stock of your choice: vegetable, seafood, chicken, beef)
Soy sauce to taste
Cook the rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
Peel (as needed) and thinly slice the vegetables. Place in bowls or serving dishes. Set aside.
Heat the broth to low boil in a sauce pan. Add soy sauce to taste. Keep at a strong simmer.
Dice the cilantro and place in small bowl.
Assemble the soup in individual bowls (or let the individuals assemble their own soup): Start with a good scoop of rice noodles, a few spoonfuls of vegetables, and a generous ladle or two of the hot broth. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and finish with a squeeze of lime.
What you get, of course, is a bowl of cooked noodles, fresh-crunchy-tender vegetables, and steaming, savory broth. You can customize this dish as you like. Feel free to add more seasonings to the broth (Asian fish sauce, ginger, garlic, chili, teriyaki, even curry powder). Vary the vegetables according to your taste, just be sure they are all sliced thinly so they will be slightly cooked by the hot broth. You could also throw in any kind of leftover (cooked) meat, shrimp, or fish. I prefer the vegetarian version. Keep the broth very hot so it does its job, and garnish at will. Enjoy!