Personalize this lovely dish by garnishing with your favorite accompaniments. Add punch with chives, turn up the heat with chilies, or keep it mellow with sweet basil.
Noodle soup typically starts with a pre-made stock spiked with fish sauce and finished with crisp yet tender vegetables. This recipe skips the fish sauce for a vegan concoction. And, instead of cooking all the vegetables at the end, I incorporate half the veggies- cabbage, carrot, and tomato- into the water for a long simmer and create a flavorful broth. Then, I finish the soup by quick cooking veggies for some crunch. If, however, you use pre-made stock, you can add all the veggies at the end.
9 1/2 Cups Water or Vegetable Stock
1 1/2 Cups (12 oz) Chopped Tomatoes, fresh or canned
7 oz (about 2) Carrots, thinly sliced or diced
8 oz Cabbage, Bok Choy, or Kale, coarsely chopped
1/2 Oz (About 1 TB) Fresh Ginger, minced or grated
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 - 1 Teaspoon Dried Red Chili Flakes
2 Stalks of Lemongrass, trimmed, cut in half & gently bruised OR 3 TB of dried lemongrass leaves secured in 1 or 2 mesh infusers
1 1/2 - 2 Tablespoons Table Salt, to taste
3 Tablespoons Sugar, or to taste
8 Oz Firm Tofu, drained & cut in 1/2"-1" cubes
8 Oz Vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, or snow peas, sliced as desired
Juice of 2-3 Limes, to taste
8 Oz of Rice Noodles, cooked according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and keep in a bowl of cold water until ready to use.
Fresh Thai, sweet, or lemon basil.
Fresh onion or garlic chives
Fresh diced chilies
Lime or lemon wedges
In the bottom of a 6 qt or larger stockpot or pressure cooker, combine water or stock, tomatoes, carrots, 8 oz of cabbage, bok choy, or kale, ginger, turmeric, red pepper flakes, lemongrass stalks or dried lemongrass (in mesh infusers), salt, and sugar.
On the stovetop, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 60 minutes. OR in a pressure cooker, set pressure to high or 12 psi and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove lemongrass stalks or infusers. Taste broth and add more salt, sugar, or chili flakes if desired. Keep broth at a simmer. (If using a pressure cooker, use the "saute" or "reduce" function.) Blend in tofu cubes and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 8 oz of vegetables and cook for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender but still crisp. Stir in lime juice to taste. Remove from heat.
Place a serving of noodles in the bottom of serving bowl, ladle in soup, and top generously with accompaniments of choice. Enjoy!