Miso Noodle Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

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A quick and easy lunch for one. Continuing my recent theme of trying new things, miso was next on the list (this post has been in draft so long that I’ve already published something else with miso; I think it’s safe to say I like miso!). In the same spirit I decided to combine things I had available and that I also wanted to eat (hence two kinds of noodle!) into a soup for lunch one day. I have to admit I’m not a big soup eater at all, certainly not for a main meal. But actually, this was really enjoyable and worked well for lunch.

Amounts are clearly to taste, and are more of a record for me of what I did than a suggestion to you as to how to make a definitive miso noodle soup. But if you want to follow them that’s ok too!

Miso Noodle Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 sachet vegetarian miso noodle soup paste (what a cheat!!!) I used ‘Itsu’ – it was on offer in one of the big supermarkets a while back.
20g brown rice udon noodles, 10g buckwheat noodles
Few small florets broccoli, tbsp frozen peas (10g), small carrot, peeled and sliced finely on the diagonal, small amount of yellow pepper, finely sliced, very small amount of fresh chilli, finely sliced.
Good splash of soy sauce, squeeze of lemon juice and toasted pumpkin seeds (about 5g)

Bring water to the boil, add the noodles (follow packet instructions, mine said 5-6 minutes). Add veg (earlier for softer, later for more crunch). In the meantime, toast the pumpkin seeds and make up the miso sachet (I added 150ml water but might add a little less next time).

Drain noodles and veg, add to miso soup, add soy sauce, lemon juice and pumpkin seeds.

Enjoy the umami of the miso and the freshness of the vegetables with the slippery noodles and crunchy seeds. Delicious.

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Miso Noodle Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles

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A fairly quickly idea for a tasty meal. I have long known that I am a salt fiend – I love soy sauce, olives, feta cheese and many, many other salty, tasty foods. To me, miso has a similar appeal and checking the packet confirms that it is in fact, high in salt. Yum. Miso is a recent discovery for me and therefore a current love. I cheated and bought some miso soup sachets which are a paste rather than a powder. I bought them a while ago and realised they are approaching their ‘best before’ and therefore needed to be used sooner rather than later. Not particularly a hardship! Another item in my kitchen in need of using up was an aubergine – it was beginning to go wrinkly and the stem end was definitely not good. In the interests of not wasting the whole thing I chopped that bit off and used the rest which was still surprisingly firm and good to use.

It’s a revelation to me that aubergine can be used in anything but ratatouille. That’s certainly the only way I had it before I left home many years ago. But it pairs so well with these flavours and becomes meltingly tender and delicious. I will definitely be making this again. The only thing I’ll change is to add some fried tofu for a protein component – I realised after making this that it was a little lacking in that department. A very successful combination of warming ginger, salty miso, melting aubergine, slippery noodles and fresh broccoli.

Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles (based on this recipe)
Soften half an aubergine, chopped into pieces in about a teaspoon of oil. In the meantime, bring a pan of water to the boil for the noodles and broccoli. Mix a miso soup sachet with a small cube of ginger, grated, a teaspoon of mirin, half a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vinegar. An Asian style vinegar would be best but I used apple cider vinegar because that’s what I had. Add some boiling water and mix well. When the aubergine is tender and coloured, add the noodles to the boiling water and the miso mix to the aubergine. Simmer the aubergine while the noodles cook, adding the broccoli so that it’s tender when the noodles are done. Drain noodles and broccoli, add to aubergine mix and serve.

I’m going to share this with the no-waste food challenge. I am generally a bit rubbish at using things up so I was quite pleased to have rescued the aubergine in particular from the fate which would usually have befallen it, namely the bin (sadly there is no food-waste collection where I live).

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I’m also going to share it with Jac for her Meat Free Mondays. This was a great light lunch but with some tofu would make a more substantial dinner.

Gingered Miso Aubergine Noodles