Asians drink soup for breakfast: Japanese miso soup and Thai pho, for example. Americans looking for something quick, hot, nutritious and comforting should consider the option.
Both can be packed with vegetables, and carried in a travel mug or thermos.
Your soup supply can also be part of a low-calorie, healthful lunch or snack.
EASY BREAKFAST MISO SOUP
Miso soup for breakfast? Sure: That’s how millions of Japanese people start the day.
All you need to make a bowl of miso soup is hot water and a spoonful of miso paste, available in many supermarkets as well as in Asian food stores. Seriously, it’s as easy as instant coffee.
You can have it plain, add tofu cubes as served at Japanese restaurants, or add vegetables of choice, as shown in this video.
The tofu can be cubed in advance; in fact, the whole soup can be made in advance and microwaved in a minute, which is especially convenient if you want your soup with cooked veggies.
There are also instant versions in packets with freeze-dried tofu cubes, which just require water and heating.
We were heartbroken when Pacific Organics discontinued their terrific pho soup base. It was so easy to whip up a delicious, nutritious noodle and egg soup that can be served for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.
Pho is one of our favorite foods in the world, especially when the broth is cooked for days to extract amazing layers of flavor (go to a Vietnamese restaurant that makes it from scratch, not from a commercial base. It may be one of your life’s memorable food moments.)
Since then, we’ve discovered Nona Lim’s flavorful broths: pho, miso ramen and spicy Szechuan.
All can be drunk straight or enhanced with noodles, eggs and vegetables. You can add meat for a hearty lunch or dinner dish, and top it with fresh herbs for color and more flavor.
Savory Choice, which for years has been our go-to chicken broth base, now makes pho concentrate packets in beef, chicken and vegetable.
You can also find powdered concentrates in Asian food stores and online.
So what’s stopping you from making a delicious Asian breakfast?
RECIPE: PHO & RAMEN BREAKFAST
Ingredients For 4 To 6 Servings
12 ounces Nona Lim plus one cup water or other equivalent* pho broth (substitute Szechuan broth or miso soup)
5 ounces ramen (one packet)
1 head bok choy or ½ head chard or kale, sliced into ½” ribbons
3 green onions/scallions, green and white parts, chopped roughly
1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly (substitute basil, chervil, mint or parsley)
1. ADD water to the the broth concentrate per package directions, then heat. When it boils, add noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. ADD the greens and scallions and simmer for another 3-5 minutes, until the greens are bright and tender but still have texture.
TIP: If you have wilting veggies in your crisper, or a piece of uncooked chicken or fish that needs to be used, this is a perfect way to use them up. Just shred/slice and toss ‘em in!)
3. BRING a small pot of water to a boil, then add the eggs and simmer for 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Remove from water and place in an ice bath; peel when cool.
4. LADLE out bowls of noodles and broth, adding a handful of fresh herbs and a halved egg to each.
*The Nona Lim package plus the water equals 16 ounces of broth.