I was really ready to headline this post with something as rad Leave the chicken in the coop and the noodles in the soup! but I have a confession to make.
This soup isn’t entirely chickenless. There’s, gulp, stock.
I know, I’m a sham. I’m so sorry. If you veggie folk leave and never come back, I’ll understand. ‘Cept for I would so not understand. Please don’t leave. Just take a peeksie at the note below for a quickie vegetarian/vegan variation. All better? Good.
Because I have another confession to make. I ah-door noodles. Maybe you recall my ramen rant? It’s a love affair I never want to see end. I love them prepared all ways — stir-fried, sauced. Swimming in pools of garlicky browned butter. Eff to the yeah. But when it comes to soup, I don’t want some flimsy noodle that’s going to slowly disintegrate into a soggy, starchy mess. I want something toothsome and chewy. That’s right, I want to chew my soup, ok? Trust me, it’s a joyful thing.
Fortunately, udon does just the trick. It’s fast, substantial and wonderfully noodle-y.
Oh, and did I also hear that Costco is now selling Ohana House Organic Udon Noodles in a handy little six pack?
Chickenless Udon Noodle Soup with Butternut Squash
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 15 mins | Serves 2 hungry peeps
Note: As the name suggests, this is all the comfort of chicken noodle soup — minus the chicken and with the remaining flavors cranked up. Namely, bigger noodles and the addition of savory, seasonal squash. I like my soup on the brothy side, so I always tend to add a bit more at the end, hence the span of cups listed. Giving chicken the bird? Cluck off for real by swapping in veggie stock.
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1.5 cups roasted butternut squash (see recipe, below)
- 4-6 cups chicken stock, see note
- 6 oz. fresh refrigerated udon noodles
- olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over a med-high flame. Sweat celery, onion and carrots until just tender and translucent, about 5 mins. Add about 4 cups stock and squash and bring to a boil. Add noodles, lower heat and simmer for 5 minute or until noodles become tender and ease apart in the broth. Add more broth if desired and bring to heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls prettier and deeper than the boring dish pictured here.
Roasted Butternut Squash
By Emily Stoffel
Cook time: 45 mins | Serves 4 as a side or add squash to salads, soups, quesadillas, mac n’ cheese, etc.
- 1 whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 T real maple syrup
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- few glugs olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
Preheat oven to 375F. Toss squash with thyme, oil, maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange on a (preferably nonstick) rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes or until caramelized in places.