When it gets cool, and if, like today, I’m feeling a bit under the weather, this is my go-to recipe for instant comfort! It’ll get your stuffy nose running with lots of garlic, soothe your troubled tummy with some grated ginger, or warm you up with spicy siracha. Yum! Nourishing, simple, and delicious, this soup is good even if you’re not sniffly.

Udon Soup (Serves 2 hungry people or 3 with a side)

6 oz udon noodles, cooked according to package directions and rinsed with cool water (essential—do not forget!!)

8 cups water

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed (I like to press them)

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated

1 shallot, sliced thinly

2 cubes beef-flavor bouillon cubes

2 tbs siracha

2 tbs soy sauce

1 box vacuum-packed tofu, extra-firm, cubed

1 bag frozen spinach


green onions

After preparing the noodles and rinsing them until they’re cool (all brands are different!), put 8 cups water, pressed garlic, grated ginger, shallot, bouillon cubes,¬†siracha, soy sauce, and cubed tofu into the same pot and bring slowly to a boil. Once it’s hot, add the white parts of your chopped green onions and the frozen spinach, and let come to a boil again. Toss in the cilantro and most of the green parts of the chopped onions just before serving. (Reserve a few onions to sprinkle on top, for prettiness’ sake.)

To serve, put 1/3 of the noodles into a deep soup bowl, and ladle over the top the broth plus a bunch of the tofu cubes. Sprinkle with onions. You’re done! Eat with chopsticks and slurp the broth straight from the bowl. Also, serve with lots of extra siracha. It’s good for what ails you!

Perfectly Delicious Kabocha Squash

1/2 kabocha squash, peeled and cubed

1 tsp. Shichimi Togarashi

1/2 tsp. salt

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss kabocha squash with spices and salt, dump on a baking sheet prepped with cooking spray. Spray the squash, too. Roast for 30 minutes, occasionally taking the squash out, stirring, and coating anew with cooking spray. Pieces will be all dark brown and crunchy on the outside, and perfectly melty-sweet on the inside, when done. Enjoy!