The recipe begins with a homemade vegetable stock, so this is a great way to use up all your veggies and scraps. I also love that it's nutrient-rich from beginning to end, making this a very healthy anti-inflammatory soup. Mushrooms are the winning star in this meal, so add them liberally!
Simple Soba Soup
5 c. cold water
2 onions, halved (opt for flavorful varieties like red and Spanish)
5 garlic cloves, smashed
3 carrots, roughly chopped
a large handful of mushrooms*
1 Tbsp. of soy sauce (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
a handful of soba noodles
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 carrot, sliced into thin circles
a large pinch of wakame**
* I like to use dehydrated shitake mushrooms, widely available and affordable in Asian markets. These are a great way to make a rich and flavorful stock without the high price tag that often acccompanies mushrooms. I freely use these in my stocks.
** Wakame is a type of Japanese seaweed and also found in many Asian markets, at a fraction of the price. Once hydrated, wakame swells into thick sheets, adding a nice texture to the soup. It is at once subtly sweet and slightly salty.
Fill a large pot with water, and toss in all vegetables. I like to add a pinch of salt here to help the vegetables release their flavors. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover and simmer for at least an hour. The longer you simmer, the more flavorful your stock. My clue is to look for a deep brown broth color.
Once the stock becomes sufficiently flavorful, discard the vegetables and bring the broth back to a boil. Add the soba and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes. Soba should have a tough texture, so be careful not to overcook. While the soba is cooking, add the carrots and corn.
Toss in the wakame. Stirring the soup, add the beaten egg. If stirred continually and quickly, the egg will blossom throughout and give the soup some "egg drops".
For extra protein, I sometimes add small squares of silken tofu. However, if you may have to add more broth as the soup can become quite crowded.