Serves 4 - 6
4 ounces udon noodles (or soba if you want GF)
4 C Dashi (see recipe below - you'll need 4 C water, 2 6X6" pieces of kombu and 1 ounce or 2 C of bonito flakes)
1 t toasted sesame oil
2 t sesame oil
2 carrots, julienne or grated
1 large leek, thinly sliced up to the light green part ;)
1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 T tamari
1/4 C white miso
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 C spinach or kale or chard, lightly packed
2 scallions, white and green parts sliced diagonally
1 t sesame seeds
Prepare udon noodles according to package. When done, strain through a sieve and run under cold water. Toss 1/2 t toasted sesame oil and coat the udon.
To make the dashi: Place kombu in a sauce pan with water. Let sit for 30 minutes, and then bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat and discard kombu. Add the bonito flakes and stir to submerge them. Return pan to heat and let boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes. If any foam surfaces, skim it off. Strain dashi through a fine-mesh sieve and discard flakes. Set aside.
In another sauce pan over medium heat, add sesame oil then carrots, leeks and mushrooms. Let saute for 5 minutes till aromatic.
Deglaze pan with 1 T of tamari then (almost immediately) add the dashi to the pan. Boil the soup for 15 minutes.
Take out 1 C of the broth and mix it in a bowl with the miso. Whisk evenly to avoid any clumps. Once you have a clump-free broth, add it back to the pan and turn off the heat.
Add remaining toasted sesame oil, tamari and the lemon juice.
To serve, distribute spinach and noodles evenly among 4-6 bowls (depending on what size you're using ;) ). Ladle in the soup into each one and top with scallions and sesame seeds. (Sesame seeds didn't make it into this soup, but it's so good when they do!)
*You can certainly add tofu or tempeh or shredded chicken to this soup to make it heartier. Let me know if you do though. I'd love to hear how it turns out.