The key to any delicious soup, but particularly an incredibly simple soup like this one, is all in the broth. Whether vegetable or meat-based, success begins with really good, preferably homemade, stock.
I don’t always have the time – or honestly patience – to make my own stock/broth from scratch, but if you happen to have a slow cooker or sturdy Dutch oven and a day at home to keep a (barely) watchful eye on something bubbling away in the background, it’s a wonderful thing to keep on hand in the freezer for when soup cravings arise.
I had exactly that sort of chilly Sunday recently, and hauled out a couple of icy, gallon ziplocs worth of chicken bones, buried in the bottom of the freezer, that I’d stashed away months before. It’s those most inglorious hunks of bone – backs and necks and feet – still with bits of good meat on them, that produce the most flavorful stock.
In the end, I didn’t have the patience for a true bone broth, but the stock still simmered away for most of the day, becoming deeply golden and collagen rich, and I happily divided the flavorful, amber broth into containers to stash away for soups and stews over the next few cold months.
Though this garlicky ginger noodle soup lends itself to going a vegetable broth route, with its strong veggie vibe, and conspicuous absence of meat (though you could easily add some shredded chicken), I strongly prefer this with a rich, homemade chicken broth, so I happily made use of that homemade stock.
It’s packed with ginger and garlic, ramen noodles and tender greens. I opted to use white Swiss chard this time, but certainly a more colorful version of chard would be lovely, or any of your other favorite greens (spinach and baby kale are other favorites around here). Bok choy would fit with the Asian-inspired vibe.
Ginger’s natural anti-inflammatory properties are great for this cold and flu-prone time of year, beyond the inherent benefits and natural coziness of a big bowl of chicken broth, garlic, and good-for-you greens.
Bright and flavorful, this ginger noodle soup is ultimate comfort in a bowl.
- 2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh garlic, finely-minced
- 1-1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, finely-minced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp tamari* or soy sauce
- 4 cups rich chicken or vegetable broth (homemade is best!)
- 4 oz ramen noodles*
- 1-1/2 cups Swiss chard,* rough stems removed and chopped
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- sesame seeds, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and the white part of the scallions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant.
- Add the sesame oil and tamari, and let cook for 1 more minute, then add the broth, cover, and bring just to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium, and let simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.
- Add the ramen noodles and Swiss chard, and simmer until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide between bowls, top with the remaining green parts of the scallions (plus more fresh scallions, if desired), and sesame seeds (white or black). Serve warm.
My favorite ramen noodles: Hakubaku Organic Ramen.
Make it gluten-free: Be sure to use gluten-free tamari and gluten-free ramen or 100% buckwheat soba noodles.
Tip: I love the convenience of keeping jars of fresh minced garlic and crushed ginger in the refrigerator.