This Mark Bittman creation has been circulating all over the tweet-blogging interscapes the last couple weeks (here and here), and I drooled every time I saw it. So I had to make it. Plus, easy peasy. Plus, you are now quite familiar with my childrens' love of Top Ramen. Mark (Bittman, of course) calls this the un-ramen, meaning--you actually know what goes into it and the noodles aren't deep-fried.
It seems silly to repeat the recipe since you can actually watch Mark make it online (I have a new crush, obviously). But I'll put it in here so you don't have to skip around and I can list my very basic additions.
I lined the bowls with spinach and chunks of soft tofu, put the cooked noodles on top of that, then ladled broth over the whole thing. Then topped with chopped scallions. Yum. It's late at night as I type this, and I would consume a vat of it if it were in front of me. The kids devoured it, and I'll have to work hard not to make it twice a week. I could have done that in my pre-blogging life, but the pressure's on now. Although I'm very comforted by this Orangette posting about how all desire to cook new things has gone out the window. We've gone through many phases of nachos/quesadillas/repeat. I'm sure another one is just around the corner, only this time it might be noodles in soy broth followed by noodles in Nigella's ginger chicken broth. I'm saving that one for another posting. I need something up my sleeve when the creativity runs out.
In addition to being delicious, noodle soups really are comforting just like everyone says. Our Great Grandma Luella passed away last month. She was a life and laughter-loving woman who beat all sort of odds to live until 93. After the memorial and graveside service (during which Wyatt was extraordinarily quiet and curious), we all went back to Dick and Phyllis' (my in-laws) house. Phyllis had made a giant pot of chicken soup with udon noodles, and it was just the thing. Everyone gravitated to it, just enjoying holding the warm bowls, standing around the steaming pot. How good it is to eat together, whether we're happy or really sad.
There are so many other things you could add to this--leftover chicken or pork, bean sprouts, Asian basil, thinly sliced bok choy. It won't surprise you to know that my children prefer it PLAIN, and I overload mine with spinach and spice the hell out of it. Three cheers for things that please more than one generation.