When we lived in New York and Los Angeles we always had access to excellent authentic Asian food but when lived in Tel Aviv and Mallorca it was available but not as good (except of one Chinese restaurant in Palma that was fantastic and inexpensive, Shi Shun Xuan. We discovered only in the second time we lived in Mallorca.) To satisfy our constant craving to Asian food I cooked a lot with asian flavors. I would add ginger, scallion and soy or fish sauce or rice vinegar to non-asian recipe. It wasn’t authentic but it was flavorful and umami. When the boys asked me what kind of soup it is, I had to think for a moment “mmm, it’s Asian”. Yes, but where in Asia? From all over Asia. It has indian, vietnamese and thai flavors, and with Japanese Ramen noodles. It’s yummy.
Please don’t let the long list of ingredients turn you off! You might already have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
You can make it with any noodles but I like it with Ramen noodles because they are more chewy and they don’t get mushy in the soup. The soy milk also gives it a rich, creamy texture.
Leo: this soup is freaking good!
To make the soup extra creamy you’ll have to make it with starchy noodles or mix in 1 tablespoon tapioca powder. For a gluten-free version use rice noodles. If you do make it with rice noodles, cook them in a different pot, not in the soup. Otherwise they’ll be soggy.
Note: don’t let the long list of ingredients to turn you off, you probably have most of them.
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 large onion , peeled and chopped roughly
- 2 garlic cloves chopped roughly
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped roughly
- ½ butternut squash, peeled and chopped roughly
- Handful green beans cut into 1-inch pieces – optional
- ½-inch ginger, chopped roughly
- Herb & spices
- 2 lemongrass stalks – beaten with a rolling pin, then cut into 1-inch pieces or a small handful Verbena lor lime leaves
- 4 fresh curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or fish sauce - optional
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 2 generous tablespoons tomato paste or 2 tomatoes
- 2 quarts vegetable stock or water
- ¾ cup soy or coconut milk
- 1 small package of Ramen noodles (Ramen noodles are Japanese dried yellowish curly wheat noodles).
- Handful cilantro - chopped finely - optional
- Put the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables, lemongrass and curry leaves and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the spices, rice wine, salt and tomato paste and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the stock or water and bring to a boil.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until the liquid reduced and the vegetables are tender. Add the soy or coconut milk and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Taste and correct seasoning.
- If you decided to make the soup with rice vermicelli noodles this is the time to make them.
- Pour the soup liquid through a metal sieve placed over another pot. Then, using a fork or tongs grab the vegetables and put them back into the soup.
- Bring the soup to boil. If you decided to use Ramen or any other wheat type noodles, this is the time to add them to the pot. Boil according to time mentioned on the package - usually it's about 3 - 7 minutes, depends on their thickness).
- Ladle the soup into medium bowls and garnish with cilantro. If you cooked the noodles separately, add them to the soup. You can add some chili sauce or chile flakes for spiciness.