Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. We sure did. Three weeks of family with warmth, sunshine, and beach time! What a wonderful way to end the year and start a new one. We have been back home for a week now and routines have resumed. It’s always sad to leave the beach life but thankfully we live somewhere wonderful, even though it’s cold.
Many of the meals I’ve cooked this winter season have been in the form of soup. Easy to throw together and warming to the core. Our recent favorite is an Asian broth with udon noodles. I’ve made miso based broths, garlic based broths, and pho spiced broths. Always with plenty of vegetables and thick chewy Japanese style udon noodles. This particular version is a pho spiced broth with beef meatballs, onion, celery, carrot, fennel, and egg. Normally I use Asian vegetables – baby bok choy, green onion, shiitake mushrooms, baby corn, bean sprouts – but last night Josh mentioned he wanted udon soup for dinner so I used what vegetables I had on hand. I always serve this soup with plenty of kimchi to be added on top.
Meatball Udon Noodle Soup
- 6 cups water
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 onion sliced thin
- 1 cup baby carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, sliced thin
- 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon beef base
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 individual packets udon noodles (you find these in the refrigerated section of the grocery store – I use Annie Chun’s)
- 2 eggs
- hoisin sauce
- In a pot over medium high heat warm a bit of oil. Add the onion, fennel, carrot, and celery. Sauté 5 minutes until fragrant.
- Add water, star anise, cinnamon stick, and beef base to pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- Make meatballs. Mix ground beef with garlic powder and garlic salt. Season with s&p. Roll out teaspoon-tablespoon sized meatballs and drop into broth.
- Add in udon noodles and let soften without stirring to prevent breaking them.
- Lastly add in the egg. I like my eggs to keep their shape so I crack them eggs one at a time into a small dish and gently add to soup. I let the broth cook the egg without stirring. This takes about 5 minutes in a very hot broth. I prefer my yolk to be just about fully cooked through.
- Spoon soup into bowls and serve topped with hoisin sauce and kimchi. (Kimchi is not pictured in this post)
** this made enough soup for Josh and I to each enjoy a bowl for dinner and breakfast the following day