The slow cooker does all the heavy lifting in this richly flavored Asian Beef and Mushroom Noodle Soup.
Winter was thankfully late to the party here in Ohio this year, but it’s certainly made a dramatic entrance this January. We’ve got temperatures in the teens, snow, blustery winds, sickness, the whole nine yards. I’m torn between my need to get out of the house and my dread of actually getting out of the house. The thought of donning my puffy coat/hat/scarves/mittens, scraping ice off the car, bundling up the baby, then trudging out to a freezing cold car is enough to make me forget getting groceries and live on dry cereal and canned soup all winter.
It seems every year I hate the winter a little more. I used to enjoy a good snow storm, and I still do, but only in very specific circumstances. It must snow enough to make it impossible for either my husband or I to leave the house, but not so much that it shuts down our power and forces us to live under 18 blankets for a week. The snow must also remain in fluffy drifts of pure white, and the temperature should hover around a not entirely unpleasant 30 degrees.
You know how often we get a storm like that? Never. So basically winter and I are over. He’s just not holding up his end of the bargain.
My coping mechanism for the next few months of winter and I’s tense relationship is soup. So. much. soup.
My fellow Ohioans and friends over at Melanie Makes and Jelly Toast are taking this entire week to share warm, comforting soup recipes to get you through the next few months. Today, it’s all about this Slow Cooker Asian Beef and Mushroom Noodle Soup recipe.
When I was first testing this recipe, I sampled the broth before throwing it in the crock pot. It’s loaded with strong flavors–garlic, ginger, Sriracha, soy sauce–and at first taste, everything seemed to be fighting with each other. The garlic was a bossy pants. The ginger was elbowing the Sriracha, and the soy sauce was just screaming in the corner, “Look at me! I’m salty!!” That day, winter must have sapped all my energy, because I decided to throw it in the crock pot anyway and see what happened.
Turns out, all the broth needed was a long day of simmering. After 8 hours in the crock pot, all the flavors settled down and mellowed beautifully. The beef, which is so tender it falls apart with a mere look, swims in a broth rich with umami mushroom, punchy garlic and ginger, and a subtle, warm-you-up-from-the-inside-out-heat.
This was supremely satisfying, comforting soup for a cold winter night. We ate the leftovers for days afterward, and it never got old. The toppings–bok choy and radishes–aren’t really necessary flavor-wise, but they do add a delightful crunch and touch of color to this otherwise very brown soup. And on a dreary winter day, a little pop of color goes a long way.
I hope this soup can be a consolation prize for bearing yet another Midwest winter. And if you need more winter comfort, check out these other comforting Asian soup recipes from Melanie and Emily!
Homemade Wonton Soup from Jelly Toast
Orange Beef Teriyaki Soup from Melanie Makes