Winter. The very anticipation of its arrival, for me brings nothing more than disappointment. Simply put I somewhat dislike winter, especially winter in Sydney. You see it doesn’t snow in Sydney, we are a city made for summer and sun, we might even be lucky to find a slight dusting of frost on our lawns some mornings but otherwise we are a snow-barren city. If it did snow then I would happily usher in the arrival of winter, but what is the point of it getting cold unless it’s accompanied by snow or something equally spectacular? It’s just futile, well that’s my logic. Silly girl, I can hear you all saying, I’m sure there are lots of things that are great about winter that my myopic-self is failing to see, but you just keep them to yourselves. I am quite happy to stay in the corner and sulk all winter about how cold and miserable it is.
As you can see I have a wee aversion to the colder months and they are (in the southern hemisphere) certainly fast approaching. As I find the autumn chill becoming more and more evident I tend to crave fresh, hearty Asian cuisine. Soups and curries in particular are my choice winter warmers; there is something wholesome and nourishing about them that always stave off the winter blues. This recipe for Chicken and Noodle Miso Soup I found in Donna Hay’s section in last Sunday’s paper. The very mention of miso (fermented soy beans) in the title got me excited. I love the stuff, whether in a soup or slathered on a piece of meat, miso is my friend. Besides I still had fresh miso paste that I had bought from the Pyrmont Growers Market this month.
The recipe called for udon noodles but I chose to use soba (buckwheat) noodles instead because they were already in my pantry. If you decide to do this, cook the soba noodles separately as they come dried and just spoon the soup over the noodles in a bowl. The combination of chilli, ginger and miso is infallible in my opinion; you could translate this soup into so many other variations- with seafood or simply with some fresh bok choy or kale.
Chicken and Noodle Miso Soup
recipe by Donna Hay
¼ cup miso paste
¼ cup warm water
6 cups water
1 large red chilli sliced
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 chicken breasts, trimmed and thinly sliced
100g snow peas halved
250g udon noodles
extra 3 green onions, thinly sliced
Place the miso paste and warm water in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place the water, chilli, ginger and green onions in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Add the chicken, snow peas and noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken and noodles are cooked through. Stir the miso mixture into the noodle mixture. To serve, spoon into bowls and top with extra green onions.