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Almost-instant ramen soup

Most likely, many of you have tried a package of instant Japanese Ramen noodles from your local supermarket. Instead of plain noodles and broth, make up your own soup combinations until you come up with a few favorites. If you have Asian-style bowls and those fat Chinese soup spoons at home, it’s fun to use them for the soup.

Serves 2-4
1 (3-5 ounce) package Ramen Noodles with Broth (We used “Westbrae Naturals”.)
Water or chicken broth
1 cup frozen or fresh chopped broccoli, or 1 cup veggies from a 1lb. frozen package of Asian Vegetable Medley 
1 green onion
Optional: 1 cup Asian-style mung bean sprouts (The white sprouts are sold in most supermarkets.) 

What You’ll Do:
1. Measure the frozen broccoli or frozen Asian vegetables. (If you’re using fresh broccoli, chop the tops into small pieces)  Chop the green onion into thin circles. 

2. Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package. Add extra water or broth, otherwise the soup will be mostly noodles.  (My package called for 2 cups of water so I added 2 cups water plus 2 cups chicken broth.)

3. Add the broccoli and simmer on low just until the broccoli is tender – don’t overcook.

To Serve: Ladle the soup into bowls; top with mung bean sprouts and chopped green onion.

Other Ideas: Replace the broccoli with chopped baby bok choy.  For protein, add a handful of leftover, shredded chicken breast (cooked) or a cup of cubed, firm tofu. Top with a few drops of Asian chile oil or hot sauce and a few sprigs of cilantro.

Note: Some noodle soup packages contain MSG, a flavor enhancer, and food dyes. Some people are allergic to certain additives so read the label on the package in order to avoid these ingredients.

BY ANNE VASSAL ON 1/22/2014 12:00:00 AM

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