What is vegetable broth? Vegetable cooking water. Usually, homemade vegetable broth involves boiling carrots, leeks, celery, herbs (and whatever else lies in the crisper) and then throwing them away. It’s a pity, because boiled carrots taste wonderful. I think we – and by that I mean mainly us cooks and cookbook writers – have transferred this throwaway habit from meat broths and bone-in sauces to vegetable broths. It goes without saying that boiled bones are best drained a bit for a small beef or chicken salad, but then discarded, the bones are not food. But carrots yes. In Vietnam, and certainly in other countries too (but I know a little about Vietnamese cuisine), there is a whole class of broths made from the cooking water of different types of vegetables: “Canh”, this i.e. carrot canh, broccoli canh, spring onions -Canh – and so on. They are used as the basis for simple soups or simply put on a table with many different dishes.
For this principle of broth without food waste to work well, the cooking water of the vegetables must be carefully salted so that it later tolerates a dash of soy sauce or miso paste with the salt it contains. And especially important: only cook the vegetables until they have the desired bite. Within an hour, the carrot would give maybe five percent of its total flavor to the broth, but then all that would be left was flavorless carrot sludge for the compost. My udon noodle soup is based on this principle of broth without food waste, only refined a little.
Food Waste Free Udon Noodle Soup
- 4 Cloves of garlic Garlic
- 5 cm fresh ginger root Ginger
- 1 chilli pepper Chili
- 1 teaspoon Salt pepper salt
- 1 Onion
- 1 he oil
- 100 g White cabbage cabbage
- 100 g carrots carrot, carrot
- 1 Federation Coriander (preferably with roots, for example from the Asian store) coriander
- 2 he miso paste miso
- 400 g Udon noodles (cooked and vacuum-packed, from the Asian store or homemade) Noodles, udon noodles
- 500 g Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, Vietnamese water spinach (rau muong) or other leafy greens Cabbage, spinach, chard
- 4 spring onions spring onion, shallot
- 2 he oil
- 1 handle Herbs, for example Asian basil (Rau que) or long-leaved coriander (Rau ngo gai) coriander
- 1 Lime (or 2 depending on size) lime
- Vietnamese fish sauce – or soy sauce fish sauce, soy sauce
- Vinegar (from rice) with fresh chilli rings vinegar, chilli
1. Wash the coriander, pick the leaves and use it later with the other herbs for garnish. Peel the garlic cloves and ginger and remove the stem from the chilli. Roughly chop everything along with the coriander roots and stems, then grind in a mortar and pestle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Peel the onion and cut it into strips.
2. Briefly fry the onion and the spice paste in 1 tablespoon of oil, pour in 1.2 liters of water and bring to a boil. Cut the white cabbage into strips and remove the very thick veins from the leaves. Peel and cut the carrots.
3. Add the vegetables to the broth, cook for about 6 minutes, then season with miso paste to taste.
4. While the broth simmers, wash and chop the leafy greens and spring onions. Remove thick, tough stalks – for example kale – and cut the edible stalks diagonally into 3cm long pieces. Cut the green onions into rings. Fry the leafy greens in a large wok or skillet with the spring onions and 2 tbsp oil for 2-4 minutes (kale a little longer, water spinach a little longer), stirring constantly.
5. Briefly cook the udon noodles in the soup until the noodles are hot. Ladle the soup into large bowls, preferably preheated. Scatter the leafy greens over the noodles. Serve with herbs, lime wedges, fish sauce and chili rice vinegar.
You can vary the vegetables as you see fit. If you are using vegetables with different cooking times, add them to the broth one at a time. Canh soups are usually served with rice, but rice noodles also work well here.
You can also try these recipes to try with truffle and miso butter udon noodles or kale and walnut udon noodles.