Want to take your noodle soup to the next level? We spoke to Chopped Canada judge and world-renowned chef Susur Lee for his tips on turning simple soups gourmet. Whether you’re upgrading a homemade recipe or adding flair to a packaged version, soup it up with Susur Lee!
Pimp it with: Chinese BBQ duck breast and plum sauce.
“The idea of ramen noodles, it’s really about convenience, right?” says Susur. He suggests an easy upgrade by combining ramen with another delicious convenience food: BBQ Chinese duck breast. “I like making Japanese-style ramen, and getting Chinese BBQ duck breast in Chinatown, and just putting it in,” says Susur. “I think it’s perfect. And with a little bit of plum sauce on top, it’s the best, the most convenient, and you can really pimp it up! I would eat that any day.”
Hong Kong Macaroni Soup
Pimp it with: sake, marinated pork tenderloin, Vietnamese cilantro and lemon balm.
“If you’re making macaroni soup, your pasta has to be quite overcooked; it cannot be too al dente,” advises Susur. “If I eat that soup, it’s very soft.” Broth is also important, so make or select a good quality base and add a touch of sake for depth. Then, instead of the usual cold cut ham, Susur recommends marinating thinly sliced pork tenderloin with soy sauce, egg white, green onion, ginger and “quite a bit of black pepper.” Lightly poach the marinated pork in the hot broth just before serving, and top the soup with chopped lemon balm and Vietnamese style cilantro — “Not the Chinese, not the Spanish, the Vietnamese long one,” explains Susur. Since this dish will be eaten with a spoon, be sure to cut all your ingredients to bite size.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Pimp it with: semolina dumplings, poached chicken slices and marjoram.
Turn your chicken noodle soup into a delicious meal experience with thin slices of poached chicken breast (follow the same method as the pork tenderloin above) and semolina dumplings. “It’s basically semolina, an egg, butter and Parmesan cheese,” says Susur. “You whip it together and turn it into a dumpling, and you just float it, almost like a matzo ball. It expands in the chicken noodle soup, and it tastes so good. And also chopped marjoram — that would make the soup taste really good… And that’s my pimped up noodles!”
Pimp it with: Don’t even…
“I think I wouldn’t ruin the pho,” says Susur. “I think pho is so perfect.”