If I have ingredients like these in stock, I very often default to making this delicious soup for lunch. I am one who loves variety, but for some reason, this soup is just always satisfying, always tasty, and I never get bored of it. I just ate it for the third or fourth time this week... and it is so simple and quick, yay! The fattiness of the egg, the slipperyness of the noodles, the crunchiness of the vegetables - it's such a great combination.
Miso paste (1tsp)
Garlic (1 small clove, chop it up very small)
Red pepper (or something else colourful, like a carrot)
A little butter or cooking oil (about half a tsp)
Chilli powder or black pepper
250-300ml of boiling water
Optional: side selection of pickled and preserved vegetables
How to make it:
Boil the water. Put it in your saucepan. Make sure it's properly boiling in the pan. Add some soba noodles. I use half of one of those 'bundles' in the packet, because I find the soba (or the half-soba-half wholewheat in this case) noodles rather more filling that normal noodles. Add the butter or oil. This stops the noodles sticking, which they occasionally do, but also adds a bit of fat to the meal, which I like. Slowly lower your egg into the water too. If you do it carefully (you could roll it down the edge of the pan with a spoon, as I do), then it won't crack. Put your timer on according to the packet instructions (mine is 7mins).
Meanwhile, chop up the red pepper, garlic, and scallions or whatever else you've got. Put 1tsp of the miso paste into your bowl, and mix the garlic into it, with a bit of chilli pepper or black pepper, according to your taste. When your timer goes off, take the egg out with a spoon and peel the shell off. You will probably need to do this under cold water to avoid burning your fingers. Cut the egg into pieces. Pour a bit of the noodle water into the bowl and mix the paste up with it. Slowly add more water to get an even mix, then just add all the water and the noodles. Put the chopped vegetables on top, and put the egg pieces on top. Pour a little dash of soy sauce on the egg.
Optionally serve with a side plate of pickled and fermented vegetables.
For some reason, putting the garlic in raw makes the soup taste really amazing and just like soups I've tasted at Japanese restaurants, even though I never saw raw garlic floating in the soup. Don't worry about getting garlic breath either, because it's chopped up small, you just swallow it with the liquid, it's when you chew the garlic that it tends to affect your breath.
Finished product... I know, I know, I shouldn't really be eating it in front of the desk, but I didn't want to sit at the kitchen table, only to stare at the damp weather...