I didn't really make New Year's resolutions for 2014, but I did sit down and make a little list of a few goals I'd like to focus on throughout the year.
....Ok, so when I put it that way, I guess I did make resolutions.
One of my non-resolution resolutions is to cook more foods outside my typical cuisines of Southern, Mexican, and Italian food. I actually really love Asian food, and every time I make something that's Chinese or Japanese-inspired, I kick myself for not venturing to the far east more often.
Speaking of the far east, did you know that I almost moved to Japan when I graduated college? It's a long story, but one that definitely worked out for the best in the end. ANYWAY, I visited there over Christmas break of my senior year, after taking Japanese lessons for almost a year. I was so excited to immerse myself in the culture, see some famous sites, and of course, eat the food.
Almost every meal began with miso soup, and I came to look forward to that small bowl of fragrant broth. This soup is a heartier and more filling take on that soup. In addition to the miso broth, there are tender udon noodles - which just so happened to be my favorite noodle in Japan! There are also earthy mushrooms, tender and sweet shrimp, and bites of leafy green spinach. It's a wonderful combination, and the first few bites transported me back all those years to Japan. Caroline absolutely loved this soup - she slurped up all the noodles, ate the shrimp, spinach, and mushrooms out with a fork, and then drank the remaining broth.
With meals as delicious as this one, it will definitely be easy to keep my non-resolution this year, and I can't wait to share more of my adventures with you along the way.
Mushroom-Miso Soup with Shrimp and Udon
barely adapted from The Six-Ingredient Solution
serves 4 generously
- 12 oz udon noodles
- 4 oz (4 cups) baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 10 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 12 oz extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup white miso
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with warm water to remove any excess starch. Drain well, then portion the noodles into four individual serving bowls. In each bowl, top the noodles with one cup of the baby spinach. Set the bowls aside while you finish the soup.
Stem and thinly slice the mushrooms. Bring the broth, 2 cups of water, and the mushrooms to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the flavors meld and the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the tails from the shrimp and cut each shrimp into 3 equal pieces, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and 1/2 cup of water until it's a smooth mixture.
Remove the soup from heat and stir in the shrimp and miso mixture. Cover and let sit until the shrimp are just pink, about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Ladle the soup into the prepared bowls and serve.