Turmeric-Ginger Miso Noodle Soup for the Flu Season
Okay, so of course I am not making any sweeping claims about magic bullets or vests of immunity, but I will say that this soup certainly can’t hurt if you want to protect yourself a little from the various viruses zipping around us. It’s also quite tasty, if I do say so myself.
The benefits? Ginger and turmeric are known to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and support immune function. Garlic, with its high sulfur content, can help you to absorb zinc, which is an immunity booster, and cause your adrenal glands to produce less stress hormones, making you more relaxed and less fatigued. Scallions, as alliums, are high in antioxidants, which support cell health, and miso paste, which we add after the soup has boiled to retain the probiotics, contains anti-inflammatory properties, as well as so many other benefits. There is so much more but what good is any of it if the soup doesn’t taste good?
This is the kind of delicious, comforting soup you’d make for those you care about – perhaps yourself? – to try to stave off illness or to feel better in the early moments. It’s got lots of complex, flavorful elements to produce a good sweat, though you can always adapt to the soup-eater’s preferences. Feel free, too, to add or subtract other components to what you have on hand and you like. Some ideas might be sautéed tofu or seitan in the place of chickpeas, mushrooms, nori, Thai bird’s eye chilis, fresh mint on top. The idea is to use this recipe as a template, not a list of rules, because soup is so versatile and forgiving, but if you follow it to the T, it’s still delicious and nourishing.
Grab a bowl and a spoon. Let’s eat!
8-ounces noodles of choice, cooked (I used very thin rice noodles soaked in hot water) 1 tablespoon oil, like coconut or sesame 4 scallions, sliced (reserve green tops for serving) 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce 4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or minced 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, grated, or 1 - 2 teaspoons, ground turmeric 1 - 2 serranos or other hot peppers, thinly sliced, optional (remove seeds and membranes for a milder soup) 2 cups kale or sturdy greens of choice, roughly chopped or shredded 1 cup carrots, peeled, diced or thinly sliced 8 cups vegan broth, water or a combination (I used Pacifica chicken-less) 2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained 6 - 8 tablespoons miso paste, any variety (lighter is milder; darker, more robust in flavor) 2 - 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice or rice wine vinegar Minced cilantro, mint or other fresh herbs for serving (optional)
Heat the oil for one to two minutes in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or pan. Sauté the scallions, tamari, garlic, ginger, turmeric and optional peppers for 3 - 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add the kale and carrots, stirring for two minutes.
Add 8 cups of broth or water. Bring to a simmer, cook for 6 - 7 minutes. Add the beans and cooked noodles, stirring. Put the miso paste in a cup and add hot water slowly while stirring until it is fully dissolved and you are at a pourable consistency. (I find it easiest to smash the miso on the inside bottom of the cup to keep it from floating as I add water.)
Remove from heat, add the miso mixture, the lime juice or vinegar, season more with tamari or salt. Stir. Serve warm with a wedge of lime.