Looking inside the bowl, this Asian soup has a certain way of attracting you to take a spoonful and enjoy its warmth and richness of flavors. It’s full of healthy seafood and vegetable ingredients packed in one amazing dish.
In Asia, whatever country you are in, noodles are a staple. The noodles can be sautéed or mixed with soup, depending on the kind that is being used. Noodles are represented in soups in so many ways. Asian noodle soups can be rich in ingredients, colorful or just plain but one thing that they all have in common is the explosion of flavors.
When I made this dish, I was thinking of the noodle soup that I loved when I was growing up. It is a classic Philippine noodle soup dish with sponge gourd, shrimp and misua, the very thin noodles made from wheat flour. It’s a hearty soup dish with simple ingredients and a lot of flavors.
I made this one richer by adding miso and more vegetables. Feel free to change the kind of vegetables you add depending on what you have on hand and what you feel like eating. The important thing is that you enjoy what you are cooking.
Gourd noodle soup with shrimp recipe
Long gourds like bottle or sponge gourds are used often in Asian cooking. Try them with this soup and you will discover a new vegetable to add to your shopping list. If you can’t find gourds, substitute with zucchini.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes
- 1 tablespoon miso paste (to be diluted in 1/4 cup water)
- 6 big shrimp
- 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cherry tomatoes or 1 big tomato, sliced
- Olive oil
- 1 (about 10 ounces) medium sponge gourd (can be replaced with zucchini), peeled and sliced
- 3 ounces okra, sliced
- 3 ounces leeks, sliced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup dried lotus flowers
- 4 ounces rice noodles
- 4-6 chard leaves (can replace with spinach or other green leafy vegetables), chopped
- In a small bowl, mix the miso paste with some water, about 1/4 cup. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, in a tall saucepan with olive oil, sauté the shrimp. When they are cooked through, transfer them to a plate and let them cool down. When they have cooled down, peel off the shell and the heads. Leave a couple for decorating if you want.
- In the same saucepan, add more olive oil, and then sauté the onion and tomatoes for about 2 minutes.
- Toss in the gourd, okra and the leeks, and then cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add the broth, miso mixture and the lotus flowers. Let it boil.
- When it boils, simmer for 10 minutes, and then add the noodles, shrimp and the chard. Cook until the noodles are soft, between 3 to 7 minutes, depending on the kind of noodles.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot.