Honestly, there are times when I feel like throwing the towel in and flouncing off to become a podiatrist or something. It happens on the, thankfully rare, occasions when the whole foodie scene loses its head and gets all obsessed with something completely nonsensical.
January is a particularly persistent offender. Half the food world can’t get through a whole sentence without saying the word ‘vegan’ or ‘detox’ or ‘cleanse’. And the other half, as if in pointed opposition, turns into some Bacchant monster reveling in the self-destructive joys of comfort food drenched in cream and butter. Oat milk on one side, cheesy meatballs on the other. The battle lines are drawn and it’s enough to make your despair.
Because, I’m sorry, but I don’t want either. I’m so full up on the indulgence of Christmas that I couldn’t look at another trifle, but January is too miserable already to make it even bleaker by eating tofu.
I suspect I’m not alone in this predicament. And so I’m pleased to offer up an alternative: this week’s recipe is a veritable beauty queen champion of wholesome sustenance. It’s a warming, satisfying ramen that’s brimming with umami flavours and lots of veg. It will nourish like a health food but sooth like nursery food – no need to pick a side.
It’s wonderfully flexible too, hence the ‘every vegetable’ title. I’ve used pak choi here because the slugs have got to my cabbages, but you can use slug-free cabbage if you have it, or any sort of vegetable that will cook nicely in the broth, – mushrooms, leeks, spinach, chard…
(Oh and before we get to the recipe, a quick reminder that the G&G monthly supper club launches on Friday 25th January so if you’re looking for some veg-filled comfort to help you banish the January blues then do come. Tickets, menus and other dates in 2019 here. Plus, my chums at The Tea Set, where the supper club is held, are giving away 2 tickets to the first one. Just click here to enter their competition.)