There’s nothing that pleases me more midday than a warming bowl of soup. My winter routine is to make a large pot of a soup or stew on the weekend, and enjoy it throughout the week for nourishing sustenance using what’s in season and what I’m craving.
Pureed soups, such as butternut squash and pumpkin, are luscious, mild and earthy. But sometimes I lust after something a bit more punchy, full of unique textures, flavours and a touch of heat. I enjoy making ramen and pho at home, as they’re a simple way to add international flair to the weekly rotation.
Keeping tamari, miso and homemade or packaged broth in the pantry allows one to make variations upon variations Asian-inspired soups, switching up the proteins and vegetables to suit your mood.
Ramen broth has backbone, so I’ve contrasted the salty-sweet-umami liquid with broccoli rabe (rapini), a dark leafy green with an unmistakably robust flavour, texture and evergreen colour. Instead of blanching the broccoli rabe, it cooks directly in the broth, helping to retain its vitamins A, C and K, calcium, magnesium and iron. For more information on broccoli rabe, along with more healthy creations, check out Andy Boy’s recipe gallery here.
To bump up the nutrition even more, I’ve opted for zucchini noodles instead of wheat noodles, making this a tad lighter than your average ramen. Cooking the broth for several hours in the slow cooker – an appliance I’m quickly warming up to (no pun intended) – means dinner is just moments away when you arrive home.
To finish, cook the eggs, wilt the broccoli rabe and heat the zucchini noodles (or, if you do want regular noodles: cooked ramen or soba noodles or brown rice vermicelli), which takes all of 10 minutes, and dinner is served.
The house was filled with a mouthwatering aroma of the spiced broth hit with tamari, miso and five-spice, burbling away (all hands-off time), while we carried about our day. Minimum investment for maximum profit – I promise a healthy homemade ramen is just that simple.
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ fresh red thai chili, minced; plus more for garnish (optional)
- ½ teaspoon five-spice powder
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped
- 4 small zucchini, spiral sliced into noodles on a spiral slicer OR cooked ramen or soba noodles or brown rice vermicelli
- 2 to 4 large eggs, hard-boiled or soft-boiled
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- In a large slow cooker (crockpot), whisk broth, tamari, oil, miso, vinegar, maple syrup or honey, ginger, garlic, chili and five-spice until combined. Cook on low for 6 hours. If cooking on the stovetop, bring mentioned ingredients to a boil in a large pot, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir in broccoli rabe into slow cooker or pot and cook, cover and cook until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini noodles or other noodles and cook until heated through about 2 minutes. Divide zucchini noodles or other noodles and broccoli rabe between bowls and ladle over broth. Halve eggs and top each bowl with eggs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with additional chili, if using. Serve hot.
Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe and I received compensation for my participation. All opinions are my own.