Fall Soba Soup


8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound soba (buckwheat noodles) or other Asian noodles
8 cups bouillon (see note)
1 tablespoon Thai Spice Paste
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2″ cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound spinach, stems removed, cut in 1/2″ strips
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 scallions, sliced (white and light green part only)

Soak the mushrooms in hot water to cover for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Remove the stems and cut the caps into bite-size pieces. Use the soaking liquid plus additional water to make the 8 cups of bouillon (see note below).

Bring the bouillon and the Thai Spice Mix to a boil in a large pot; add the sweet potatoes and onions and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the soba or other Asian noodles according to the package directions, or until al dente (tender but firm to the bite.) Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.

Add the spinach to the soup and simmer until it is wilted. Add the bean sprouts, soy sauce, scallions and the soaked mushrooms. Stir in the noodles and serve immediately.

Note: Make the bouillon with chicken or fish bouillon cubes or granules (one cube or teaspoon of granules per cup of water), or use Miso soup base (available in Asian markets), prepared according to the package directions.