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Thank you to Stovetop Story for this recipe Spicy Soba Noodle Soup | Stovetop Story. I was so excited to try it because it seemed like a quick, easy and delicious choice for a cold winter weeknight after work. Excited, and also a bit…apprehensive. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my hubs is very meat and potatoes, and does not believe in meatless meals, let alone soup as a meal. His go-to response when something like kale or quinoa ends up on his plate has always been: “why can’t you cook something normal?”

So I have backed off on the superfoods/ancient grains and I make sure there is meat with every meal. Because despite how annoying that can be I want him to enjoy his dinner at home with me after he gets off a twelve hour shift. But yet… I WANTED that spicy soba noodle soup. So I decided to go for it and justified my decision by telling myself: he likes spicy food. He loves mushrooms. It’ll be so quick and easy. And I’ll make sure we have a good dessert. Yep, I actually whipped up a sour cream pound cake at the same time, that’s how easy the soup recipe is. Or maybe I’m just getting better at baking. (tip: make sure you leave your eggs and butter out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before combining and mixing ingredients).

However, there were some slight hitches and modifications during the preparation of Stovetop Story’s recipe. First of all, it calls for pre-cooked soba noodles which I couldn’t find. That would have been REALLY easy. In fact, the first grocery story I went to didn’t have soba noodles at all. At the second store, in the international foods area, I found a slim package of uncooked noodles, labeled Japanese Buckwheat noodles. On the back of the package, it explains that the Japanese word for this type of noodle is soba. Which I already knew, because I used to work at an upscale Asian fusion restaurant. Besides the extra step of cooking the noodles, mine got a bit gummy after I drained them while waiting for the vegetable broth to boil. But it didn’t seem to make a difference once I added them to the broth.

As for the mushroom, I sliced up two Portobello caps instead of one and I’m glad I did. The mushroom, kale and spicy sauce are what make this soup. My first taste of the soba was, dare I say, a little like cardboard? But I added more mushroom and lots of kale (I used a pre-washed bag) and ended up really enjoying this soup. And I also recommend doubling up on the spicy sauce so you can add lots of it, too.

On thing that didn’t work for me…the freeze dried spring onions that I used instead of fresh green onions. I had them on hand, but had never used them before. I love fresh herbs but they can be pricey and usually end up getting wasted because you often end up with more than you need. Am I wrong? But these freeze dried things are NOT the way to go. They don’t even tell you how much water to add and so they became more like mushy onions or crusty onions.

But that was the ONLY thing I found any complaint with. It was a pretty and tasty soup. My husband on the other hand….well, I have to give him props for being game to try it. But most of his ended up in the garbage can. How that is possible, I just don’t know. But, he did NOT like it. And I was very disappointed. No more Asian cooking in my future unless it’s when he’s not around.

I felt kind of bad, I mean… I KNEW he didn’t have a taste for that type of cooking, and I did it anyway. But I learned a thing or two. I won’t be using those freeze dried onions again. And I can whip up a spur of the moment pound cake like nobody’s business!

Fresh  vs. freeze-dried (plus my room temp eggs for the pound cake)

Fresh vs. freeze-dried (plus my room temp eggs for the pound cake)