Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs – Grain Free (Stove Top or Slow Cooker)

Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs (Grain Free)

Pork ribs are simmered in a ginger-laced broth, then accented with greens and mushrooms and layered with flavors of miso, tamari and umeboshi plum vinegar (or rice wine vinegar). If this isn’t Japanese(ish) soul food, I don’t know what is.

Up until recently we enjoyed this with rice noodles, but lately we’ve loved it with mung bean cellophane noodles or (affiliate link) kelp noodles! Both of these grain free varieties are silky and lovely and totally neutral in flavor. And my kids give the thumbs up for slurpability which – you know – I tolerate, because they are eating such a nutritious meal!

Here are some more grain-free pasta options if you are looking for alternatives. As for the base, I make my own frugal chicken stock or a broth out of drumsticks.

Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs (Grain Free)

Kelp Noodles

I fell in love with Japanese food in my early 20′s. After graduating college, I worked for a large Japanese company as a project engineer. It wasn’t long until I made a career leap to teaching Pilates and other wellness pursuits, but I was there long enough to get a good glimpse into Japanese culture, get comfortable with chopsticks and even have the opportunity to travel to Japan.

Spending a week in Japan was amazing in so many ways, but the food. Oh the food! It was out of this world.

Bear with me while I reminisce about some of my many food adventures there:

  • After a 13 hour flight and landing on soil that was 13 hours ahead of Atlanta, I felt completely upside down. I didn’t really come around until later at night when Tokyo was all lit up and a Japanese coworker and I settled into a sushi boat restaurant (here’s a good photo of one so you get an idea). We feasted on sushi and sashimi washed down with a little cold sake from a sort of miniature sake waterfall.
  • The next morning (after waking up bright-eyed at 4a.m. and watching the sunrise) I wandered down to the hotel restaurant and had the choice of an American or Japanese breakfast. I chose the Japanese breakfast which consisted of salmon, miso soup, pickled vegetables and rice. Such a great way to start the day!
  • My coworkers and I (both American and Japanese) often ate lunch at the company headquarters cafe. Usually I got the tonkatsu which is a breaded, deep-fried (but somehow light tasting) pork cutlet drizzled with a dark, complex sauce -salty, sweet and tangy. Such delicious food even in a sterile corporate cafeteria.
  • Then there was the magical experience I had in a green tea shop. In the interest of time, I’ll send you over to this Matcha-Ginger Scones post to read it if you’d like. (The scones are great too!)
  • One misadventure I had was at one of the finer sushi restaurants. I was with a Japanese coworker and we were both so excited about the meal to come. He was looking forward to eating some of the more exotic selections (sea urchin for one) but I stuck to the basics. We both had a “sweet shrimp” sushi and ate it at the same time. This was the first thing I had encountered that I didn’t like. In fact I couldn’t even tolerate it and to my horror, I started gagging involuntarily. But thankfully when I looked up, he had his eyes closed and was quietly moaning with delight so I took advantage and quickly spit it into my napkin. By the time he opened his eyes I was poised and smiling!

One of the popular “fast foods” is the ramen soup bowl. These are large hearty bowls of soup brimming with meat, vegetables and umami that hit the spot for lunch. I found a recipe for a pork ramen soup in (affiliate link) Slow Cooker Revolution and adapted it for the stove top and to make it more nourishing. It is deeply satisfying like the soups I remember in Japan. My husband raves about it and the kids down it without a complaint!

I hope you get a chance to try it and love it as much as we do!

Here are some more Japanese-inspired recipes from The Nourishing Gourmet:

Do you love Japanese food? What are your favorite dishes?

Miso Noodle Soup with Greens & Pork Ribs (Grain Free)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Japanese-Inspired
Serves: 4
 
This richly-flavored, decadent soup is simple to make and a family pleaser! Adapted from a recipe in Slow Cooker Revolution.
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 8 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 pounds pork ribs (bone-in baby back or a leaner cut of spare ribs, if using boneless use 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package of kelp or mung bean noodles
  • 6 cups spinach or kale
  • 2 tablespoons miso (white or red)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tamari (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon umeboshi plum vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Ideas for garnishments: scallions, sliced jalapenos, seaweed flakes and/or toasted sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Over low-medium heat saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the coconut oil or ghee, careful not to let the garlic burn.
  2. Once softened, add in the chicken broth, ribs and mushrooms. (Since my kids don't like mushrooms I usually saute these on the side and serve at the table separately.)
  3. Simmer for 2 hours if you can (this will make the meat even more tender and the flavors come together better). If not, 1.5 hours is fine!
  4. Take out the pork ribs and cut the meat into bite-size pieces, removing the fat.
  5. If you are using spinach and mung bean or kelp noodles, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients including the meat. It's ready to serve.
  6. If you are using the kale and/or rice noodles that need some additional cooking time, you will need to add them in while the soup is simmering until they soften. Then take the soup off the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
  7. Serve the garnishments on the side.
Notes
To make this soup in the slow cooker, just add sauteed onions, garlic and ginger plus the broth, mushrooms and ribs. Cook on high 5-7 hours. Cut pork into bite-sized pieces. Stir in kale, spinach and noodles and let them cook til tender. (If you're using mung bean or kelp noodles they will be ready very quickly so add them right at the end.) Add back in the pork and season with the remaining ingredients. Serve.

 

Curried Tomato Soup (Simple, Creamy & Dairy-free)

Curried Tomato Soup (Dairy-free, creamy, and so simple)

This gentle tomato soup has plenty of pep with both curry powder and garam masala to flavor it, and coconut milk to make it incredibly creamy. This fast and easy soup is perfect for the spring days we are currently experiencing – a mix of spring rains, and sunny days. Some days are worthy of a sweater still, and there are lovely days where we break out our summer dresses. One way or another, this soup has been soothing our souls, and nourishing our bodies often. It reminds me of my Simple Thai Broth because it is so easy and simple to make, is incredibly soothing when under the weather, and also can easily be made into a main dish soup by simple additions.

We first discovered it at a local store and we all loved it with the exception of my youngest who found it too spicy. My version, which boosts better ingredients and is completely allergy-friendly for us, is kept flavorful without as much spice so that even my three-year-old enjoys it. I will be making this often.

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A few notes on ingredients:

  • I make my own chicken broth. It’s both cheap, and very nourishing. You can get my basic recipe here, and my bare-bones most frugal recipe here. (Both are delicious).
  • I used Pomi Chopped Tomatoes in this recipe. I love that they are unsalted (allowing me to add my own unrefined salt instead of the cheap salt usually used), that they are so incredibly rich in flavor, and that they aren’t canned in traditional cans (I always taste that “tinny” taste). You can substitute whatever brand you prefer easily though.
  • I used Mountain Rose Herbs Curry Powder. Delicious!
  • I used this brand of coconut milk, which is guar gum free (my oldest seems to get stomachaches from gaur gum). Another great gaur gum free, and delicious brand is this coconut cream. 
  • This is one of those recipes where owning a hand blender is really helpful!
Curried Tomato Soup (creamy-but-dairy-free, and Easy!)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Easy to adapt and play with, this simple recipe is flavorful all on its own, or make it a main dish with the addition of precooked rice, fresh spinach and chicken chunks (it will only take a few minutes at the end of the cooking time to reheat the rice and cook the spinach and chicken). Other possible additions include topping it with fresh cilantro, fried onions or garlic, or a squeeze of lemon juice of a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It's also perfect to serve with grilled cheese.
Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow, white, or red onion, or 2 small onion, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons of fat or oil of choice (such as coconut oil or avocado oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or similar starch or flour), optional
  • 1½ tablespoons each curry powder and garam masala
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 carton of Pomi chopped tomatoes, 750g/26.46 oz (or brand of choice)
  • 1 14 oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 3 + teaspoons of unrefined salt (unless using presalted tomatoes and broth, then salt to taste).
Instructions
  1. Heat the fat in a large pot over medium-high heat, until hot. Add onions, and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, stirring here and there, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to soften. Add the garlic, and cook for about 1 more minute.
  2. Add the arrowroot, and stir into the onions. Add the tomatoes, and curry powder, and garam masala, and stir until mixed. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk, and, if using unsalted broth and tomatoes, add 3 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
  3. Blend using a hand blender (or, carefully in batches in a regular blender) for a smoother texture. I like mine with small bits of onions still left in it. Adjust to taste with salt. And serve.

 Related Recipes on TheNourishingGourmet.com:

 

Easy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Thai Curry Noodle Soup

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Light and flavorful, this simple Thai curry noodle soup will warm you on a cool evening. It is a perfect, frugal meal to throw together when you are short on time and is bursting with flavor.

Using homemade chicken stock adds an extra boost of nutrition to this tasty soup. Fresh stock is a frugal and easy way to nourish your family. Coconut milk not only makes your dish creamy and decadent is bursting with nutrition as well.

(Post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog!) 

When buying coconut milk it is important as part of a real foods diet to know what is in your milk. Many brands contain carrageenan, sugar and other preservatives. There are a few suitable options out there. Native Forest, is an excellent brand that is organic and BPA free. Another good brand is Thai Kitchen, which is not BPA free but the company claims that their product is “BPA safe”. Thai Kitchen is more creamy and has always been my favorite brand. And check out this brand, and this one, for guar gum-free coconut milk.

Thai is one of my favorite cuisines, there is no denying that. There is few thing less satisfying for me than creating ethnic dishes at home. When you use your own ingredients you can know that your food will be free of unhealthy oils, sugars and preservatives that are frequently found when dinning out.

Homemade Thai Inspired Recipes:

Thai Curry Noodle Soup
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4-6
 
Light and flavorful, this simple Thai curry noodle soup will warm you on a cool evening. It is a perfect meal to throw together when you are short on time and is bursting with flavor.
Ingredients
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 16 oz vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 tsp thai red curry, or curry paste of choice (I use this one)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of lemon grass, split
  • optional garnishes
  • Fresh basil (Thai is preferred)
  • Fresh spearmint leaves
  • Fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce-pot add the coconut milk, curry paste, lemon grass, garlic and ginger. Cook on low for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions cook for another five minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and add the chicken and sugar snap peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes for until the chicken is cook through.
  4. Add the rice noodles, turn off the heat and cover until the noodles are softened.
  5. Garnish with thai basil, spearmint leaves and cilantro if desired.

 

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)

pastaefagioli2

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Rich nourishing bone broth with frugal beans and pasta make Pasta e Fagioli  perfect for a large family dinner on a cold night.

(Kimi – This recipe is a perfect example of how simple and delicious it is to get beautiful, nourishing, health-building broth into your family, which is why we wanted to share it along with my post, 10 reasons homemade broth should be part of your diet!  Read the introduction to our series, 21 steps to a nourishing diet, and find out what a nourishing diet can and cannot do for you here. )

This recipe can be easily adapted for gluten-free and vegetarian diets by using vegetable broth instead of chicken, and eliminating the pasta completely or using a gluten-free brand of macaroni instead. Kimi recommends this brand. (Amazon links are affiliate)

Pasta e Fagioli is traditionally a peasant dish, as the ingredients are incredibly frugal. This particular recipe is one that my Italian family has been using for multiple generations. Even today when I walk into my 93 year old grandfather’s kitchen, this soup, bubbling away in his big aluminum pot, always comes to my mind.

My mother lovingly served our family this soup all throughout my childhood. “Bean Soup” nights were always my favorite! It wasn’t until after I graduated from college, and moved overseas for a year, that I finally learned to make it myself. I was living in China, and missing the traditional Italian food that was so easily accessible in the states. That was the year that I learned how to cook for myself from scratch, continuing the tradition of passing this recipe down the family line.

This soup is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. My grandfather, and mother, would frequently use a scoop of marinara sauce, instead of diced tomatoes. If you make this during the summer, fresh diced tomatoes, and herbs from the garden would work great as well. I like my pasta e fagioli heavy on the garlic, and with a nice kick from the crushed red pepper. You can adapt this to your family’s taste quickly and easily.

To keep this soup as frugal as possible, it’s best to use dried cannellini (or white kidney) beans. By soaking the beans overnight to remove irritating phytic acid, cooking them, and adding them to the rest of the ingredients, you’ve saved quite a bit of money! If you’re in a pinch, and need a fast meal, canned beans work great too. I often use Eden Organic’s canned cannellini beans, because the beans have been soaked and cooked with kombu seaweed, and their cans are BPA-free. They are a little pricy, but are a very good option if you are not able to use dried beans.

This soup is always better the next day, after the flavors have melded together overnight. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, enjoy a bowl for a wonderfully nourishing lunch!

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8
 
This nourishing soup will warm your family up on cold winter nights! The recipe can be easily adapted to your taste buds or dietary needs.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 Cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 15oz Cans of cannellini beans (I like Eden Organic's BPA-free canned beans), or 1½ cups of dried cannellini beans that have been soaked overnight, and cooked (about 5 cups cooked)
  • 7 Cups of chicken broth (vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
  • 1 Cup chopped tomatoes (I love Pomi chopped tomatoes in a BPA-free carton)
  • ½ teaspoon Dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon. Dried oregano
  • ⅛-1/2 teaspoon. Crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how much "kick" you like
  • 1lb Ditalini pasta, or other short cut pasta like elbow macaroni or tubetti (a gluten-free pasta can be easily substituted as well)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Parmesan cheese and chopped flat leaf parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil, and sauté the minced garlic for a minute or two. Be sure that it doesn't brown.
  2. Add your beans (previously cooked, or canned with liquid), broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Allow the soup to simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Shortly before the soup is done, boil salted water for the pasta, and cook it al dente according to the package.
  5. When serving, spoon ¼-1/2 cup of the pasta into bowls, and ladle soup on top. I prefer not to store any leftover pasta in the leftover soup as it typically soaks up a lot of the broth and becomes soggy.
  6. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese or freshly chopped parsley on top.

Other soups you may enjoy: