Porcini powder (available from online sources such as www.jrmushroomsandspecialties.com) adds rich earthiness to this vegetarian soup. If you have dried mushrooms instead, you can use a dedicated spice grinder or a mini-food processor to grind them into powder.
You can also substitute water that you've used for soaking and rehydrating dried mushrooms; just make sure to put it through a fine strainer before use.
Servings: 3 - 4
- 6 cups water
- 4 ounces dried buckwheat soba noodles
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, briefly rinsed, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 whole scallions, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices
- Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon porcini powder (see headnote)
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the soba noodles; reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to maintain a low boil. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the noodles are just starting to become tender but still have a slight bite, stirring occasionally to prevent them from clumping.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the mushrooms and half of the scallions; cook until the mushrooms have exuded their juices and have started to become tender, about 4 minutes. Add salt to taste. Remove from the heat.
When the soba noodles are tender, whisk in the porcini powder and add the mushroom mixture, including any liquid in the skillet. Cook, with the liquid gently bubbling, for 2 or 3 minutes to make sure the porcini powder has dissolved and the mushrooms are heated through.
Remove from the heat, add salt to taste, then ladle out a single portion. Sprinkle the remaining scallions on top, and eat.
The remaining portions can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. Freezing the soup is not recommended, as it will make the soba noodles mushy.
From Food editor Joe Yonan.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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