Pad Thai Noodle soup…. what is there not to love about this recipe! Not only is it beautiful, but this Pad Thai Noodle soup recipe is a super healthy alternative to the greasy, high-fat version you get at your local Thai restaurant.
Did you know a typical Pad Thai dish contains over 600 calories and sometimes as many as 1,000? That is almost half of your total recommended calories for the day. To make things worse, typical Pad Thai is loaded with sodium, topping over 2,000 mg for one plate. Why is that a big deal? On average the total daily recommendation for sodium intake is 2,300 mg a day. Yes, you heard that right, a DAY. So that means ONE plate of Pad Thai practically meets your sodium requirements for the day. In order to save yourself from heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, bloating, kidney stress and other high sodium related health consequences, ditch the restaurant Pad Thai and try this instead.
This Pad Thai Noodle Soup recipe is from my new favorite cookbook, Superfood Soups by the talented Julie Morris. Packed with reinventions of all our beloved recipes, she manages to maintain the flavor, heartiness and richness of all the soups we love, while upgrading them with healthy twists and superfood boosts. While there are so many plant-based, gluten-free, and vegan recipes to choose from, a few that I have tried and loved are a Golden Cauliflower Soup with Seared Mushrooms, Cacao Black Bean Soup and of course, this Pad Thai Noodle Soup.
If you are looking for an easy way to incorporate healthy eating into your life, this book is it. Soups are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food that can be prepared in advance. This allows you to always have something good to eat in the frig, preventing you from making poor food choices when eating out. Another reason to love superfood soups? Superfood soups like this Pad Thai Noodle soup are naturally cleansing. Containing mineral-rich broths, fiber-forward beans, vitamin-dense veggies, and lots of powerful superfoods like chia, dulse, and cacao, you can help to heal and cleanse the body with each bite. In fact, I oftentimes recommend for clients to do a soup cleanse, which entails eating only soups for a period of time. This allows the body to be nourished with all the nutrients it needs to detoxify and heal, while lessening the burden of digestion and elimination. You should give it a try!
*One more fun nutrition fact: seaweed is rich in iodine, the mineral needed by the thyroid to function properly. Most women and men are iodine deficient, which can lead to hypothyroidism (feeling sluggish, cold hands and feet, infertility, trouble losing weight, foggy brain). Adequate iodine levels also protects against radiation (airplanes, X-rays, airport scanners, phones, computers).
Pad Thai Noodle Soup and Seaweed Broth
Makes 4 servings
1 Tbsp coconut oil
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, shredded
½ lb broccoli, stem cut into matchsticks, florets cut small
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
8 cups Seaweed Broth (recipe below)
1 Tbsp yellow miso paste
3 Tbsp tamari
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp Sriracha sauce, or more to taste
14 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes
7 oz dried flat rice stick noodles
4 cups bean sprouts
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tsp dulse flakes, divided
4 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced thin
¼ cup cilantro leaves
¼ cup slivered almonds
1 lime, quartered
For the Seaweed Broth
3 quarts (12 cups) filtered water
1 piece dried kombu (about 2×4 inches)
2 Tbsp tamari
Warm the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring.
Add the carrots and the broccoli stems and florets, and saute until the broccoli is bright green, about 3 minutes longer, stirring often.
Mix in the ginger and broth.
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste, tamari, coconut sugar, and Sriracha, making sure the miso dissolves, and then add this mixture to the soup.
Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Stir in the tofu, noodles, bean sprouts, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of the dulse flakes.
Remove the pot from the heat and cover. Let the soup sit for 10 minutes, or until the noodles become tender, stirring once halfway through.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and top with green onions, cilantro leaves, almonds, the remaining dulse flakes, and lime wedges.
Note: The lime wedge isn’t just a garnish! Squeeze it over the soup to bring out its best flavors, right before eating.
Superfood Boost: Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds when you stir in the noodles for brain-boosting fats.
For the Seaweed Broth
Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
Add the kombu, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Partially cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the kombu (save it for another use, if desired), and stir in the tamari.
Let the broth cool a bit before transferring it to a storage container.
Seaweed Broth will last for 1 week in the refrigerator, or for several months in the freezer.
Superfood Tip: Save that seaweed! Once the broth has finished cooking, remove the seaweed, let it cool, mince it into small pieces, and use it as a delicious and healthy addition to savory soups, salads, grain bowls, and more (note that after cooking, the seaweed won’t have too much flavor but will still retain a small portion of its nutrition).
As a last resort, you can use it as a natural dog treat—my dog gobbles it up like a favorite chew toy.
Reprinted with permission from Superfood Soups © 2016 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.