The presence of smoked chicken carcasses in the fridge could mean only one thing: stock. And now it’s that most compelling time of year, with warm sun and chilly shade and mountains bedecked with autumn raiment under skies of impossibly clear and cloudless blue. Each season so far this year has been pretty splendid; summer got a bit too hot and dry for a while, but in all it’s just been gorgeous weather. And we’re having a stunning Indian summer that just goes on and on (and the best days have been hitting on the weekends). Last night was the first light frost.
So what I’m saying is that it’s soup season.
Now noodle soup is a pretty common occurrence around here, so this time around I figured I’d mix it up a little. Instead of soba or udon I took the one remaining egg and beat it with some milk and then added flour until it was of a sufficient stiffness. Then I kneaded in a bunch of chopped basil, rolled out snakes, cut them into segments, and rolled those into little balls. After a trip to the garden, I grated a small daikon and mixed it in with its chopped leaves, a minced scallion, and broccoli florets and added that mixture to the simmering smoked stock along with the dumplings. Once they were all floating, I turned off the heat and ladled. A little garnish of Thai basil and fennel flowers tried to add some color, but did not succeed overmuch. It didn’t matter.