If you are one of those who think soup is boring because you get the same taste spoonful after spoonful, then this noodle bowl is for you. There may seem to be a disparate range of ingredients here, but they come together to compliment each other nicely in this particular soup. Besides being pleasantly feeling, it is a really fun dish to put on the table. And the work, if you can even call it that, comes mostly in prepping the toppings. There are bits of this and that that keep the soup exciting for the eyes and taste buds and make it one of those dishes where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I'm talking about the magical yin and yang balance of spicy chipotle with rich umami-flavored miso freshened by bright lime, crunchy sweet roasted cashews with creamy fresh avocado and chewy paneer, and finally the slurping of noodles in a warming broth.
For me food often mimics life. This bowl reminds me that seemingly unrelated ingredients harmonize in the end if I know my end goal, give a little thoughtful attention, and trust the process. Days can feel scattered, months can blend together, but knowing what I am working towards gives me clarity, direction and focus.
Here's to a new week filled with clarity and direction for us all!
Chipotle Miso Noodle Soup
Notes: Go for a darker, aged red or brown miso here. The richness will hold it's own against the smoky chipotle and paprika. I use black rice noodles but other noodles also work well: whole wheat spaghetti, udon, soba, brown or regular rice noodles.
Knob coconut oil (or ghee)
2 1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
2 tsp. smoked paprika
6 cups water
1 medium head broccoli
3 Tbsp. red or brown miso
1 tsp honey
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 package paneer
Cooked black rice (or other) noodles (250 gr or ~ 1/2 lb)
Basil and/or cilantro
Prepare paneer: Set oven to broil. If paneer is one thick block, cut in half lengthwise into approximately 1/4" planks. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, spread a thin layer of coconut oil on top (optional), and broil in top 1/3 of oven until starting to brown around the edges (~5 minutes). Flip over to brown slightly on other side (~1-2 minutes). Let cool slightly to firm back up, then cut into cubes.
Divide broccoli into small florets and chop tender stem. In a soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add chipotle powder and paprika. Coat spices in oil and toast until fragrant (~30 seconds). Add water and broccoli and simmer until broccoli is tender but still with a bite (5-8 minutes). Remove from heat.
Mix miso in a separate bowl with a ladle of soup broth until dissolved, then pour into soup and stir to combine. Add honey, lime, then taste to balance flavors adding more miso or honey if needed.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with paneer, noodles, avocado, cashews, and herbs. Enjoy with a spoon and fork!
This week I'm sending this recipe over to Deena for her Fabulous Fusion FoodChallenge.