This ramen noodle vegetable soup comes in handy when you need a hot, comforting soup, and you need it right away.
The bonus is that the ingredients are so very inexpensive, yielding six generous servings for less than the cost of a quart of take-out soup.
No chopping! It’s a satisfying soup that requires no chopping other than a couple of scallions. The clever hack here is using a bag of frozen mixed Asian vegetables. They taste surprisingly fresh and stay nice and crisp in the soup if you’re careful not to overcook.
A quick warm-up: If you have a cold or are generally under the weather, this is a perfect way to get a good few servings of a soothing soup. Normally, there are few things I love to make more than creative plant-based soups — even ones that call for lots of chopping! But there are times, like when I had a massive head cold recently — that I thanked my lucky stars for this soup.
Ramen noodles are readily available: You can buy them without the ready-made soup mix, in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets (sometimes labeled chuka soba). They’re an appealing addition to simple soups. To make this a more substantial soup, do add the optional tofu.
- 6 cups water
- 1 large or 2 regular-size vegetable bouillon cubes
- 5-ounce package curly ramen noodles (chuka soba)
- 16-ounce bag frozen mixed Asian vegetables
- Several slices fresh ginger, or 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred
- 7 to 8 ounces firm or extra firm tofu (about a half of a tub), diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 big handfuls baby spinach or other baby greens
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine the water and bouillon cubes in a small soup pot and bring to a slow boil.
- Add the noodles, vegetables, and ginger and return to a slow boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the noodles are al dente, about 5 minutes. The vegetables will be just done at this point as well.
- Reach into the pot with a pair of kitchen shears and cut the noodles here and there — they’re very long! Add a little water if the soup has gotten too crowded.
- If using tofu, add it at this point along with the scallions and greens; cook until the greens are just wilted.
- Stir in the scallions and greens; cook until the greens are just wilted. Season with soy sauce and pepper to taste, then serve at once.
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