This is the soup I eat when I'm sick of tomato-vegetable soup and want a healthful alternative. My mom pioneered the use of ungodly amounts of ginger, and my twist was to add equally substantial quantities of garlic--at various stages of the cooking, so that its flavor comes through loud and clear. The resulting soup is both detoxifying and delicious. —Cara Eisenpress
For the broth
onion, thinly sliced
scallions, white and green parts, sliced
cloves garlic, minced
large carrot, cut into a julienne
large green or white cabbage, finely sliced
yellow pepper, julienned
rice noodles, cooked according to package directions and tossed with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Combine the onion, scallion, 2 cloves of garlic, ginger, and carrot in a large pot with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil slowly. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables have wilted. Add the cabbage, pepper, cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the remaining two cloves of minced garlic and cook for 10 more minutes, until all the vegetables are very tender.
Remove from the heat and squeeze in the lime. Taste for seasonings, and add more soy sauce or lime juice if you'd like.
When ready to serve, reheat the soup to nearly boiling. Distribute the rice noodles among four large serving bowls. Ladle the broth over each, being sure to catch lots of the vegetables, then sprinkle with a few drops of sesame oil and a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro, and pass the sriracha around so people can add to taste.
I'm the founder, editor, and head chef at the blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen (www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com), a site dedicated to easy-to-execute recipes and stories from a quarter-life kitchen. I'm also the author of In the Small Kitchen published in 2011.