New Year/Any Day Noodle Soup

by smokinchestnut

When I tell Matthew I’m in love with the genius that is Heidi Swanson, he accepts this as truth and remains unalarmed. I can’t help it. It seems as though every single recipe that comes from her site, be it an original creation or one she’s found in an obscure cookbook, is gold. I have a backlog of recipes/photos that need to become posts and so many of them are from her.

I had been eying this recipe for quite a while but I kept getting stuck between the “Ugh, I need to cook dried beans?!” and “Where’s the meat/tofu?” Also the “Brothy soups NEVER fill me up.” I’ll usually add tofu to vegetarian dishes to sneak in extra protein and to make the dish filling, but something stopped me here. I’m so glad.

A touch of spice from the serrano pepper, a squeeze of sour from the lime and a burst of freshness from the cilantro and dill created a perfect harmony for the broth. The trio of legumes sang quietly in the background, sharing a hearty base with the egg noodles. But the main stars were the toppings — caramelized onions, toasted walnuts and a spoonful of sour cream all delivered an incredible richness to the dish.

Never has a cold weather soup worked so well in the summer. Enjoy!

New Year/Any Day Noodle Soup
slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks
serves 4-6

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green serrano pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

9 cups vegetable or chicken broth

3.5 oz yellow split peas or brown lentils
1 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed
2 cups cooked beans (calls for borlotti, I used cranberry beans)

120 g wide egg noodles, dried (roughly 3 cups)
3 1/2 oz fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh dill
1 lime, juiced

Toppings (aka MUST HAVES!):
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, slightly watered down OR 1/2 cup sour cream
2 oz toasted walnuts, chopped

Heat oil in large dutch oven, or thick-bottomed pot, over medium heat. Add onion and chile, cook for a few minutes until softened. Add turmeric, cumin and black pepper and cook for additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add broth, bring to a boil, then stir in split peas/lentils. Cook until tender, roughly 25 minutes. Add cooked chickpeas and cooked beans. Heat through, then season with salt if necessary.

While lentils are cooking, prepare toppings. Heat olive oil and butter in large pan over medium heat, then add a few pinches of salt. Throw in sliced onion and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally (roughly 8-10+ minutes). Set aside.

Towards end of soup’s cooking time, add egg noodles into simmering soup and cook until al dente. Stir in spinach, cilantro, dill and lime juice. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt/sour cream, spoonful of caramelized onions and a few chopped walnuts. Slurp to your heart’s content.