Udon Noodle Soup with Spinach and Tofu: Big Flavor Minus the Fat

I so enjoyed the sausage and tortellini soup I prepared a few weeks ago from my America’s Test Kitchen 30-Minute Suppers recipe book that I recently tried another soup recipe from the booklet: Udon Noodle Soup with Scallops, Shiitakes and Watercress.

This udon noodle soup delivered the same big flavor as the sausage and tortellini soup, but without all the fat. In fact, there’s no fat at all in the udon noodle soup.

I made some major modifications to America’s Test Kitchen’s udon noodle soup recipe. First, to cut down on the cost of the ingredients, I used the tofu that was in my fridge instead of buying scallops at the supermarket. Second, I used spinach instead of watercress because I couldn’t find the spicy green at my supermarket, and since I had spinach from my CSA in my fridge. Third, I used the ramen noodles in my pantry in lieu of udon noodles, which I couldn’t find at Price Chopper, anyway. Finally, I used the dried porcini mushrooms in my pantry in place of dried shiitake mushrooms–another ingredient I couldn’t find at my local Price Chopper.

I enjoyed this soup so much because it was so tasty, satisfying and healthy. Eric and I got several meals out of it.


4 C. low sodium chicken broth

4 C. water

1/3 C. soy sauce

1/4 C. mirin

6 dried shiitake mushrooms (I used porcinis)

1 (3/4-in.) piece of fresh ginger, peeled, sliced and crushed

1 (9-oz.) package of fresh udon noodles (I used ramen; soba would work equally well and would provide more protein)

1 lb. sea scallops (I used tofu)

2 C. watercress (I used four cups of spinach)

3 scallions, sliced thin


1. Combine broth, water, soy sauce, mirin, ginger and shiitakes in a large saucepan. [If you’re using porcinis instead of shiitakes, reconstitute your porcinis in boiling water before adding them to the broth.] Simmer, covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes. [If using porcinis, add them after 10 minutes.]

2. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Add noodles to boiling water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain noodles, then divide between 4 large serving bowls.

3. Using slotted spoon, remove ginger and shiitakes from simmering broth [<–I left the ginger and porcinis in the broth]. Discard ginger and shiitake stems.  Slice shiitake caps thin and return to pot. Add scallops [or tofu] to pot and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in watercress [or spinach] and scallions until just wilted, about 1 minute. Ladle soup over noodles and serve.


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