Golden turmeric and ginger udon noodle soup
I love the uncomplicated simplicity of the golden broth with chewy udon noodles. You could add seasonal vegetables, too: shredded greens, sugar snap peas, even roast squash, if you like. I eat this when I feel under the weather, and also when I want something satisfyingly warm and straightforward.
Turmeric is as delicious as it is nourishing, bringing sunshine yellow to everything it touches. We are used to jars of the bright yellow ground stuff, with its earthy flavour, but if you can get it use fresh turmeric. Its light, almost citrus, notes adds freshness here.
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 small carrots, halved
1 small whole head of garlic, halved
1 large thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
1 small thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric root, sliced, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄4 red chilli, de-seeded
2 litres clear vegetable stock
6 spring onions, thinly sliced
the juice of 1⁄2 unwaxed lemon
soy sauce, or salt, to season
300g thick udon noodles
4 tablespoons chilli oil
In a large lidded saucepan, toast the coriander seeds and peppercorns over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, apart from 2 of the spring onions, the lemon juice, soy sauce, noodles and chilli oil. Pour over a litre of boiling water.
Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer for 25 minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse, adding more hot water from time to time if needed. Strain the broth if you are serving straight away, or if you plan to eat this later cool the broth with the vegetables left in for a more intense flavour and strain before reheating.
To balance the broth, squeeze in the lemon juice, taste and add more, if you’d like, and add soy or salt as needed. You should have a delicately flavoured, fragrant broth.
When almost ready to serve, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions and drain well. Divide the cooked noodles between deep bowls and ladle the broth over the noodles. Serve on its own or with the remaining sliced spring onions and a little chilli oil.
IMAGE: Issy Croker