Friday, March 5, 2010

Nigella's Noodle Soup for Needy People

Are you needy? I am. I need lots of things. I need new plates. I need a set of wooden bowls. I need a cast iron dutch oven. I need a new cutting board and it needs to be a BOOS. I need a new outdoor grill. I need at least $500 for all the new cookbooks I want. Along with my grocery list, I have a list of kitchen equipment, specialty foods, and cookbooks. Yes, when it comes to the kitchen I will admit that I am high maintenance.

My name is Kim and I have a problem. No matter how much kitchen related equipment and cookbooks I buy, I always need more! It certainly doesn't help that I work in the mall part-time. I have a great job at Lush Handmade Cosmetics, which is located inside of Macy's. When I close the store at night, I have to take the money upstairs to customer service. Ironically, customer service is located right next to the kitchen/housewares department. This is dangerous. Dangerous for many reasons. Dangerous because I get a discount, but mainly because I have a credit card and I'm alone. You see where I'm going with this, right? I'm like a kid in a candy store, only the candy store is closing, nobody else is in there, and I have free reign. Did I mention that I have a credit card?

Last night, I needed a set of wooden bowls. I had to have them. They were such a good deal, especially with my discount, or at least that's what I told myself.

Feeling needy, I made Nigella's Noodle Soup for Needy People. I adapted the recipe quite a bit (notes below). I also want to share a new item I found at Whole Foods, Dau Miu, otherwise known as snow pea shoots. Info and pictures below.

Here is what they look like out of the package

Nigella's Noodle Soup for Needy People
Serves 2 for supper, very heartily
6 oz udon noodles (dried, from a package)
3 cups chicken, vegetable, or dashi broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I almost doubled the soy sauce)
1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar
1 star anise (I didn't have any, so I omitted)
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
3/4 cup bean sprouts (I omitted)
3/4 cup sugar snaps
3/4 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms (I omitted)
1/2 cup finely sliced baby bok choy
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
I added:
1 large garlic clove, minced
About 1 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
2 sliced radishes
1 sliced green onion
handful of Dau Miu (snow pea shoots)
Roasted chili oil

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions and while their water is boiling, fill a nearby saucepan with stock, soy sauce, sugar, star anise, and ginger. (When the noodles are done, just drain them and put half in each bowl.

When the flavored stock comes to a boil, add the vegetables. They should be cooked before 2 minutes are up.

Pour half into each bowl, over the cooked and drained noodles, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Notes/Results: I've wanted to make this soup for awhile because it always looks comforting. I halved the recipe, using chicken stock, omitting the bean sprouts and mushrooms. I added two radishes, the dau miu, green onion, garlic, lots of red pepper flakes and really upped the quantity of the soy sauce (I'm addicted to sodium). I also tossed the noodles in roasted chili oil before pouring the broth over. This recipe makes a ton of soup. It was pretty tough eating the whole portion, but I was able to pull through! The additions I made to the soup made it pretty spicy and I really enjoyed all the green veggies. I questioned adding the radishes, but they turned out rather nicely. I will definitely be making this soup again with my leftover ingredients. I really enjoyed it.

I'm sending this recipe over to I Heart Cooking Clubs in celebration of soups and stews. I'm also sending a shout out to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. Deb also made Nigella's Noodle Soup for Needy People this week and her version looks terrific! Head on over to I Heart Cooking Clubs to check out Deb's version and everyone else's soups and stews!


  1. I love the name of this one! Great looking soup, those Asian flavours are so inviting.
    Love the pea shoots! I have heard of them but didn't know what they looked like.
    I am like you with the kitchen wares. My clothes are like rags, but if I go shopping it is always for kitchen stuff! They are just so much more fun than pants. :)

  2. I know what you mean about always wanting kitchen stuff and cookbooks... and the thing is i have such a small kitchen :(
    You work at lush? Thats a cool place. I always wished they would give classes on how to make bath bombs.
    *kisses* HH

  3. sounds great. How did you like the shoots?

  4. You must be my long lost sister, because I am a kitchen gadget whore too!

    Love your version of the soup!!

  5. I feel you Kim. I need new things all the time as well. Especially when it comes to kitchen supplies. And cookbooks. I'm pretty sure I keep in business. This soup looks delicious! I haven't seen those snow pea shoots at WF. I'll have to keep an eye out.

  6. OMG! This is a recipe I saw Nigella make back before it was in the re-run stage of FN. I love this soup and have made it time and time again, long before I started my own blog. You must try it in the original recipe form. The earthyiness of the mushrooms and the crunchiness of the bean sprouts,delicious. And then I will definately have to try it with your additions as I always have radishes and green onions in thecrisoer drawer for our salads. Now I want some of this again. Thanks for the additions to rekindle the urge.LOL.

  7. This soup looks great and it gets major points for having all the healthy greens in it :) Yummm!

  8. This looks so good! I think I NEEEED some!

  9. Glad you were able to pull through and eat your!

  10. Yum...I love everything in this soup and I think your additions look awesome. Can't wait to try it! Thanks!

  11. I need a cast iron Dutch oven too! I love your photo of the snow pea shoots. It looks like I could grab it off of my screen. Very cool! I love this soup too! Yum!

  12. Oh Kim, I need at least $1000 for new cookbooks... there are so many cookbooks I want. I really need to stop going to Barns and Noble and look at their cookbook collections... :)

    This noodle dish looks so appetizing! I love noodle dishes like this. Love the broth, too.

  13. Oh this needy soup make's me needy now.....coz addin to the same list as ur i now am needy for this great soup....:-))))
    Ur job sounds so so good...u go the mall everyday :-))))
    Cheers and happy weekend To u Kim!!!

  14. I hear you on the kitchen stuff and of course the cookbooks! ;-)
    Your soup looks great--I love all your changes too. Snow pea shoots are great and would have been perfect in the soup--I'll have to check and see if we have them at the WF here. Thanks for the shout out! ;-)

  15. This looks amazing. I want to make it NOW! Is that needy? ;op

  16. I need some of that soup too - it looks and sounds perfect. And very adaptable, so perhaps I should skidaddle over to the store and get the supplies I need to make it!

  17. I try not to go into cooking stores, or the kitchenwares sections of any store because I ALWAYS find things that I "need". The soup looks wonderful :)

  18. The Asian flavors in your soup are so inviting. I also love the name. I really have to try this one. If I'm busy in the kitchen I can't get to stores that sell cookware or books:-). Have a great day...Mary

  19. Love the name of this Soup! I'm with you when it comes to kitchen stuff or serving stuff or gadgets or ingredients or...or...or....

    I used to work in a high end gift shop for about 2 years. When it was time for me to move on, I said to my husband, "I think it's time for me to quit my job". My husband replied "Are you sure you're done shopping there?" He was totally serious. LOL!

  20. You crack me up Kim! Thank god you and I aren't married or we'd be like one of those people on "Hoarders". We'd have a house full of kitchen stuff.

  21. you're so a girl after my own heart! i roam williams sonoma weekly, and then cry myself to sleep because i can't own everything in the store, it's an insatiable hobby!

    this soup looks to die for! and i love your new wooden bowl!

  22. I love the way this is written and the sense of urgency you created with your need. This is a wonderful noodle soup, very satisfying and flavorful.

  23. Great job on this soup! I love the changes you made!

  24. I'm needy too! I have a huge list of things I need for my kitchen.

  25. LOL, Kim, I know what you mean about 'needing' things. I can sometimes pour cold water on it if I ask myself where I'm going to store it...

    This soup looks wonderful. I love radishes in soup.

  26. Yeah, I'm "needy" too. : ) I've got a running wish list in my head. Love your new bowls and the soup looks amazing. Good work with the recipe revisions. I think the changes you've made create a better soup. Plus, I'm terribly allergic to the shiitake mushroom, so I'd have to ditch those anyway.

    Hope you're having a good weekend!

  27. My name is Debby, and I'm a gadgetaholic. I feel you, girl. I used to have a part-time job at Macy's. It was so hard to stay away from the kitchen area. I am in detox from shopping on Amazon, Kohl's and King Arthur Flour. It's so hard! As for the soup.... lovely. Never heard of those shoots, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled for this one.

  28. My limit for my needs? THe size of my Parisian kitchen!

  29. All items outside the kitchen I want, but the kitchen its NEED! :) I love this post and love this soup recipe! Nigella rocks!

  30. And I need this soup. Flavorful, noodles, complete with the pea shoots. This sings to me and I shall answer the call.

  31. Kim,
    Your soup is gorgeous! Thanks for finding our Jade brand Dau Miu (pea shoots) and trying them out. They make it so convenient. And luckily, we farm in Southern California, so our growing season is ALL YEAR LONG! You're can find them in many Whole Foods markets and some Bristol Farms' markets, too. Come LIKE us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter, too, for lots of new ideas for pea shoots and other Asian greens like baby bok choy, gai lan, etc. We're also going to feature your soup on our page, and link here so people can come see it for themselves!
    Well done!


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