On Sunday, we came back from spending eight days in a cold mountainous region in north India. The trip was to celebrate our first anniversary, which we did by a bonfire, with red wine and pumpkin soup and mushroom risotto and lemon tarts, under a sky crammed with stars. And then, a few days later, after a one hour walk, a nine hour car ride, a seven hour train ride, and two hour flight, we emerged back into Bombay and a sky cushioned with clouds.
The city, being kind, decided against assaulting us with brash sunlight.
On our drive home, we looked up recipes for dinner. We wanted to eat noodles, but our usual peanut sesame noodle extravaganza, with its delectable sauces and oils was too rich after breakfast and lunch in Delhi. We were looking for a healthier dinner, and the recipe we found- Heidi’s (101 Cookbooks) “Slurp-tastic Herb Noodles,” in which noodles swim in a spiced, herb-laden coconut broth, was light, satisfying, and came together in under an hour.
We made a few changes to Heidi’s recipe. We used red curry paste instead of green, added scallions, a tablespoon of sugar, and one green chile to the coconut broth to give it more of the spicy-sweet kick that we like, and towards the end we blanched spinach in the broth so we could have a one pot vegetable and noodle meal.
Red Curry Noodle Soup
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
4 ounces soba noodles, or another, thin pasta
1 cup coconut milk
scant, 1 Tbsp. red curry paste
1 1/2 cups lightly flavored vegetable broth (we used the water leftover from straining yogurt in place of the vegetable broth, as it’s full of protein and has a mild, milky flavor)
salt, to taste
1 cup scallions, white part diced, green stems cut into rounds
1 green chile, chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 handfuls chopped spinach
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped basil
pinch of crushed red chile flakes
1. Cook the noodles according to directions on the package and divide between two bowls. If using soba noodles, drain with cold water after cooking.
2. In a large pot, bring 1/4 cup coconut milk to a simmer, stir in the red curry paste so there are no lumps, then add the rest of the coconut milk and the vegetable broth.
3. Add the white diced scallions, green chile, red chile flakes, and sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
4. Taste for salt, then add the spinach and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro, basil and green rounds of scallion.
5. Ladle the coconut curry over the noodles. Add additional cilantro if desired, and for more heat, some srirachra sauce or chile sauce.