Over the past month, I've passed by the culinary signposts marking the beginning of summer: cotton candy and deep-fried cheese curds at a local festival, linguine with asparagus and pine nuts, malted-vanilla-malted-milk-ball ice cream from the Pumphouse Creamery, a picnic by the Mississippi River. Our first CSA box arrived last Tuesday, heavy with jars of raspberry jam, honey, and maple syrup, and with cilantro, basil, and chive seedlings peeking out over the top. As expected, there was lots of lettuce, a bundle of asparagus, a few radishes, and the first of many zucchini. There were also some new-to-us vegetables: turnips and Swiss chard. I made the turnips into a rather soggy, oddly flavored batch of turnip fries (Mike diplomatically referred to them as "about as good as they could have been"). The chard met a more auspicious end, in a mushroom and noodle soup. The mushrooms add a meaty depth to the broth, while the chard soaks up the flavors of ginger, garlic, and Sriracha.
I recommend using sesame oil for the added flavor, but you could use canola oil in a pinch. On the other hand, the sesame seeds themselves don't add much to the finished soup (they sink to the bottom of the bowl as soon as you dig in), so feel free to leave them out if you don't have any on hand. I used 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, and the resulting soup was definitely on the salty side; if you want to dial back the sodium, reduce the soy sauce to 2 tablespoons.
Adapted from the Kitchn
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 ounces dry whole wheat spaghetti noodles
- 1 cup thinly sliced chard leaves
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add sesame oil and tilt to evenly coat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have started to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the Sriracha sauce and soy sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are completely browned and have started to give up their juices, about 2 minutes.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and chard and reduce heat to a low boil. Cook until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with sesame seeds, if desired.