Light, bright and nourishing! This wholesome recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes, we’re sharing it as part of #VegetarianAwarenessMonth this October!

The broth is loaded with healthy and hearty ingredients such as ginger, turmeric and chilli, and plenty of seasonal veg. To give the broth extra flavour-infusing time, you could make it up to 2 days in advance, then leave to cool and store, covered, in the fridge – although this isn’t essential!

Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 minutes,
plus standing time
Cooking time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

875ml/30fl oz/generous 3 and 3/4 cups good-quality hot vegetable stock

7cm/3in piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into thin rounds

6 kaffir lime leaves

2 large lemongrass stalks, crushed slightly with the blade of a knife

1 and a 1⁄2 tbsp light soy sauce

2 bird’s-eye chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

250g/9oz flat udon or soba noodles

350g/12oz asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed

sesame oil, for brushing

400g/14oz can coconut milk

1 tsp ground turmeric

4 large handfuls of baby spinach

juice of 1 large lime

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

2 spring onions/scallions, thinly sliced diagonally

1 handful of coriander/cilantro leaves

1 tsp black sesame seeds

Method

  1. Put the stock, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, soy sauce and half of the chilli in a large saucepan and bring almost to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes to infuse the stock with the flavourings. (This can be done in advance and the broth left to infuse until ready to serve. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
  2. Cook the noodles following the package directions, then refresh in cold water and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, brush the asparagus with sesame oil. Heat a griddle/grill pan over a high heat and chargrill the asparagus for 8–10 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred in places and tender. You may need to cook the asparagus in batches. Set aside.
  4. While the asparagus are chargrilling, strain the broth, then return it to the pan with the coconut milk and turmeric. Reheat the broth, then add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes or until tender. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. To serve, divide the noodles evenly between 4 large shallow bowls. Ladle over the coconut broth and top with the asparagus, the remaining sliced chilli, spring onions/scallions, coriander/cilantro and sesame seeds.

Part-Time Variation!

Rejuvenating chicken or beef broth: Replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock, made from the bones of a roasted chicken, or a beef bone broth.

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