ASIAN CHICKEN-ASPARAGUS-SNAP PEA-NOODLE SOUP

Yes, soup in summer, but only if it’s relatively light and tastes as good as this Asian Chicken-Asparagus-Snap Pea-Noodle Soup–and the air conditioner is up and running, of course. To top off this tasty meal, sprinkle with cashews and sunflower seeds and those thumbs will definitely be up, up, up.

Asian Chicken-Asparagus-Snap Pea Noodle Soup1Asian Chicken-Asparagus-Snap Pea Noodle Soup2

8 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp Thai Chile sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 minced red chile, divided

4 oz rice sticks

8 asparagus spears, touch ends snapped off, cut into 1″ pieces

2 cups sugar snap peas, cut into 1″ pieces

1/2 cup corn (I used frozen)

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1/2 cup cashew halves

3 tbsp sunflower seeds

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

sea salt

ground black pepper

2 cups chopped spinach

1) To large soup pot, add chicken broth and heat over medium-high; add soy sauce, Thai Chile sauce, lime juice, half the minced red chile (reserving half for topping), and rice sticks; reduce heat to medium low and cook 5 minutes; add asparagus, sugar snap peas, and corn and cook 10 minutes

2) Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp) to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat; add cashews and sunflower seeds and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes; transfer to a plate

3) To same skillet, add reserved 1 tbsp olive oil and heat over medium-high; add chicken, lightly season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often until just cooked through; remove from heat

4) Add chicken and spinach to soup, stir, and immediately remove from heat

5) Ladle soup into bowls and top with cashew-sunflower mix and reserved red chile; serve!

Servings: 6-8 dinner-sized portions

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ASIAN CHICKEN SPINACH NOODLE SOUP

Though the Nashville area was blessed with a break from chilly weather today, it rained and rained and rained. And that’s why Junior Too chose this Asian soup over a bacon and egg spinach salad for dinner. Easy, quick, and “to the bottom of the bowl” good!

Asian Chicken Spinach Noodle Soup

8 oz Japanese-style Somen Noodles (or angel hair pasta)

6 cups chicken broth

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 cups cooked and sliced chicken (deli-roasted chicken works great)

1 cup bean sprouts (I used canned)

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves

3 cups chopped spinach

3 green onions, sliced thin

red pepper flakes (optional)

1) Cook noodles according to package directions; drain, rinse, and place in bowl; set aside

2) Add chicken broth to large soup pot and heat over medium-high heat; stir in hoisin sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, chicken, bean sprouts, and basil leaves; reduce heat to medium and, stirring occasionally, cook 10 minutes; stir in spinach and green onions and immediately remove from heat

3) Place cooked noodles in bottom of soup bowls and ladle soup over top; serve with or without sprinkles of red pepper flakes; enjoy!

Servings: 4-6

SZECHUAN SHRIMP NOODLE BOWL

Good soup! Granted, it’s on the spicy side and shouldn’t be served without plenty of ice water, but my guys said it was worth every grab of the glass. Of course, you can reduce the amount of Szechuan sauce–or eliminate it altogether for a more gentle meal. Enjoy!

12 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup Szechuan Spicy Stir-Fry sauce (I used House of Tsang brand)

1/4 cup soy sauce

2/3 cups shelled edamame (I used frozen)

2 cups shredded green cabbage

1 cup snow peas (or sugar snap peas), cut into 1/2″ pieces

3/4 cup matchstick carrots

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin

4 green onions, sliced thin

4 oz rice sticks (rice vermicelli noodles)

1/3 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1-1/2 lb medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1) To large soup pot over medium-high heat, add: chicken broth, Szechuan sauce, and soy sauce; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium

2) Add edamame, cabbage, snow peas, carrots, red bell pepper, green onions, and rice sticks; cook 5 minutes

3) Add cilantro leaves and shrimp; cook 4-5 minutes until shrimp cooks through; remove from heat and serve in nice big bowls with tall glasses of water (this is sssspicy!)

Servings: 6-8 dinner-sized

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 06/21/12

SPICY PORK NOODLE SOUP

Asian-inspired soups are always a hit at our house, especially if “spicy” figures into it. Though this is not a “hot-and-sour” soup, it shares some of the same taste-bud-pleasing notes. Unfortunately, Junior wasn’t home to ladle up his share, but Senior and Junior Too didn’t mind his absence. Bottom-of-the-bowl good!

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces

5 oz soba noodles (or ramen or spaghetti)

4 cups chicken broth

3 tbsp soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp ground cayenne (or 1 tsp if you’re up for spicy-er)

1-14 oz can bean sprouts, drained

4 scallions, sliced thin

2 tsp chopped red chiles

1) In large soup pot (I used cast iron), heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add pork and, stirring occasionally, cook 5-6 minutes until meat browns

2) Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions (soba: 3 minutes in boiling water); drain and set aside

3) To pork add: broth, soy sauce, lime juice, paprika, cayenne, and bean sprouts; bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally; stir in noodles and scallions and remove soup from heat

4) Ladle soup into bowls and scatter red chiles over top (or serve chiles on side to allow your hungry ones to determine their own level of spicy)

Serving: 4