Today we are having what they call a “monsoon”. It is just more wind, rain and dampness. It is the perfect day for a hot steamy fragrant bowl of soothing and delicious turmeric and saffron soup with lots of ginger, garlic, rice noodles and bok choy.
When it is damp outside my body craves to be nurtured and loved. Turmeric and saffron soup is like getting a big warm hug from your mom. The soup is fragrant like mom’s apron after a day of baking. The soup noodles are soft and silky like your mom’s skin. The soups broth is like getting gentle pat or rub on the back as it soothes all your worries away. Hugs from mom’s can never be replaced. However when you need a hug to get you through the day, this is the very closest you can get to the real deal.
Turmeric has a beautiful golden color and also has many health benefits. Turmeric can ward off Alzheimer’s disease, cancer prevention, reduces the risks of heart attacks and strokes, combats inflammatory diseases, helps fight off cold and flu, helps indigestion and weight loss and also helps diabetics. I think that is at least 7 good reasons to add it to my soup. Turmeric is a warm and aromatic spice with slight bitter undertones and is also used extensively in Southeast Asian and Middle-Eastern cuisines.
I purchased my turmeric in Thailand. There are many different types of dried turmeric. Alleppey turmeric is darker in color due to a higher portion of curcumin (turmeric’s coloring agent) and is noted for its fine flavor and earthy aroma with delicate notes of lemon and mint. There is also fresh turmeric and I use that often as well.
The most important thing to note is to keep the turmeric off your hands, clothes and counter tops. Unless you want an unusual yellow tied dyed shirt, you should really take note to this warning. If grating fresh turmeric, wear gloves or you will look like you’re a 5 pack a day heavy smoker with nicotine stains on your finger tips. However, this beautiful yellow color is what makes this spice a colorful addition to your cooking.
The UK has all kinds of descriptive words for rain such as damp, drizzling, moisture and more creative climate adjectives such as “pissing rain”. If you have rain these many days those poor TV weather hosts in the UK must know every synonym there is for that wet stuff.
In Hong Kong, we also have damp and wet days and they us adjectives like monsoons, typhoons, black thunderstorms, and amber thunderstorms.
In the US, we have some strange words for when the rain is too cold to be wet and too wet to be snow and we call it sleet.
Whatever country your living in, mother nature is sure to be sending some nasty weather your way. There is only one way to thaw from the inside out and that is a with a loving hot bowl of fragrant turmeric and saffron noodle soup.
I started out frying up a few scallions, garlic and ginger in a pot. I added my turmeric powder, a couple of saffron threads and added in my vegetable broth, rice noodles and bok choy and a few other spices. I think some tofu or an additional egg might be quite nice in here too, if you happen to have any on hand. In less than 10 minutes, I had a rich beautiful nourishing soup.
Rice noodles expand when they cook and emit a little rice flour into the soup broth for a nice thick and rich consistency broth. Rice noodles always come in these packages with 2-4 bunches of noodles in a pack. You must take the whole bunch of noodles as you cannot separate them without making the world biggest mess. With this in mind you will have to add enough broth to cover the noodles and then a bit extra. Rice noodles cook really fast in about 2 minutes and are gluten-free, egg free and lactose free.
Hot steamy fragrant bowl of soothing and delicious tumeric and saffron soup with lots of ginger, garlic, rice noodles and bok choy.
- canola oil - 1 teaspoon
- shallots - 2-3 chopped
- garlic - 1 clove crushed and chopped
- ginger - 1 teaspoon grated fresh
- turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon ground
- saffron - 1/8 teaspoon
- vegetable broth (or chicken broth) - 6 cups
- rice noodles - 1 bunch Thai thin Pad Thai noodles
- salt and pepper - to taste (white or black pepper)
- bok choy - 1 cup whole leaves
- tofu - optional
- egg - optional
Step 1: Place canola oil or light flavored oil into pot. On a medium-high heat add your shallots, garlic, ginger and ground turmeric and cook until lightly aromatic.
Step 2: Add your gluten free vegetable broth or chicken broth to the pan, saffron threads, and salt and pepper to taste. (I added black pepper as I was out of white pepper) Bring to a gentle boil. Add your rice noodles. Do not over cook as they only take a minute or two and then they will be aldente. Your rice noodles will absorb the broth and expand so adjust amount of broth to the amount of noodles added depending on your package size)
Step 3: Add your bok choy, and any other items you like such as tofu or egg. (If you choose to add an egg you can do this 3 ways. You can add the beaten egg at the end so your broth is thick and rich. You can add it whole at the end and make like a poached egg or maybe you want to fry your egg separately and add on the top at the end.
Step 4: Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve your golden spiced noodle soup hot and steamy and enjoy the therapeutic effects.