Silence can mean so much more than just the absence of sound. To me, silence is a feeling as much as it is something we hear. And that feeling can be spurred by other senses, too. Sights can be loud or quiet, as any fan of minimalist design knows. When it comes to taste, food can definitely be loud, which is exciting but isn’t always the best for our health (as is the case when food companies and restaurants use fat, salt, sugar, and additives to get us hooked on their products; but that’s a topic for another day)!
Sometimes it’s nice to savor and appreciate quiet flavors, which brings me to this soup, Seared Bok Choy Broth with Noodles. The flavors and textures are delicate. Nothing about this soup is spicy, pungent, thick, fatty, acidic, crunchy, dense, or zesty. It’s subtle, lightly savory, and faintly complex. And though there are times we want food that knocks our socks off with flavor, I really do believe it’s important to stay acquainted with the subtle flavors of our vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Bok choy is such a beautiful green, don’t you think? You can use regular or baby bok choy for this soup. With mushrooms, shallots, bok choy, ginger, and garlic, this brothy soup is wonderful for times when you’re feeling a little under the weather (or you’re cooking for someone who is), or when you’re just trying to stay healthy during cold and flu season.
The hint of licorice from star anise is mild, but if that’s a flavor you don’t particularly enjoy, feel free to leave it out. You could experiment with a dash of ground turmeric, cinnamon, or nutmeg, or garnish with fresh cilantro and sesame seeds to add flavor. If you want a more filling meal, simply add cooked beans or diced tofu while the soup simmers.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Seared Bok Choy Broth with Noodles as much as Mark and I do. If you make it, please leave a comment, rate the recipe, or tag a photo @myquietkitchen on instagram!
Cheers to health (and quiet moments).
Seared Bok Choy Broth with Noodles
- 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
- 2 tsp grapeseed or other neutral oil, optional
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 5 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inch piece ginger root, peeled and minced
- 8 cups water
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce (sub tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 star anise
- 8 ounces rice noodles, or noodle of choice
- 2 green onions, sliced, for garnish
- Preheat a soup pot or large/deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil, if using, and bok choy and cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Stir and cook for another minute, or until dark green, wilted, and slightly seared. Transfer bok choy to a plate.
- Add the shallots and mushrooms to the pot. Stirring occasionally, cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the water, soy sauce, and star anise. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
- Add the noodles to the pot and cook according to package directions (increase heat to maintain a simmer). Once noodles are tender, return bok choy to the pot. Remove the star anise before serving.
- Garnish with sliced green onion and serve.