Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Veggie Noodle Tom Yum Soup

Many people think of soup as a winter dish. I can somewhat understand this theory based on the ingredients in the soup; however, I find that a zesty, vegetable filled soup can be just as delicious on a warm summer (or SoCal :) day.

Our fridge is typically loaded with vegetables and one of the best ways to use veggies up before they spoil is soup or stir fry’s. TomYum is a clear spicy soup that originates from Laos and Thailand. The name comes from two words “Tom” and “Yam”. “Tom” refers to the boiling process while “yam” means a spicy sour salad. So literally the name Tom Yum is hot and sour soup.  Not too tricky huh? Now I added a special twist to the soup by adding the soba noodles; however, you could most definitely leave these out and it would be just as delicious!

If you haven’t seen lemongrass before it can typically be found in an ethnic grocery store or a specialty market (can be found at Whole Foods). It is green and white in color with razor-like blades and has been used as a super-herb for hundreds of years for medicinal and culinary purposes. Lemongrass does in fact have a very strong citrus flavor when cut or crushed due to the essential oils being released. Lemongrass is anti-microbial and anti-fungal and can be used to inhibit the growth of bacteria in the body externally and internally. Additionally lemongrass can be used for aromatherapy to restore and revitalize the body and in teas to flush toxins and waste. Check out more health benefits here!

1 package of soba noodles
6 cups organic vegetable stock
2 stalks of lemongrass, smashed and cut into 1 inch slices
5 kaffir lime leaves, shredded (found at an Asian food store or specialty market)
4 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon of chili paste
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups of broccoli florets
2 baby bok choy, chopped
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of sugar snap peas
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 carrots sliced
2 green onions, sliced thinly
Cilantro for garnishing

Add all ingredients from the vegetable stock through the garlic to a large stockpot and bring to a boil.

In the meanwhile prepare the soba noodles as directions indicate on the package and set aside.

Add the broccoli, bok choy, mushrooms, bell pepper and carrots to the boiling stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for approximately 15 minutes. Add in the sugar snap peas and simmer for an additional five minutes. Remove from heat.

Add soba noodles to individual bowls, top with Tom Yum broth and vegetables. Garnish with cilantro and green onion before serving. Delicious!

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