This lovely, light, dish (not quite a soup, but definitely brothy) was inspired by some fresh spinach and fresh endive I picked up at Beetlebung Farm in late March. If you’ve never used endive as a cooked vegetable, I think you’ll find it delicious. But you could use any spring vegetable here – in place of the radishes, use Japanase turnips or asparagus; instead of the endive, use snow peas or snap peas (thinly sliced) or romaine lettuce. Feel free to substitute a different noodle for the soba. You could also use a straight-up vegetable broth here (with the tamari and mirin) in place of the miso and water. Instead of the mint, use cilantro or Thai basil if you like.

Serves 3 as a main dish, 4 as a starter


For the noodles:

  • 3 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


For the miso mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons white (shiro) miso
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mirin (rice wine)
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil


For the vegetables:

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 8 to 10 small radishes, cut into wedges (about ¾ cup)
  • ¾ cup sliced scallions or spring onions (cut into 1-inch pieces on the bias)
  • 8 ounces endive, halved and cut lengthwise into ½-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed, or fresh peas, blanched or microwaved for 30 seconds
  • 2 cups stemmed and chopped fresh spinach


To assemble:

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced mint leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Pea shoots or other sprouts (optional)


1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the soba noodles for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Rinse the noodles briefly with cold water and drain them well in a colander. Toss with ½ teaspoon sesame oil.

2. In a glass measure, stir or whisk together the miso, tamari, mirin, and ½ teaspooon sesame oil. (It does not have to be completely combined). Set aside.

3. Put 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a near simmer and adjust the heat as necessary to hold the water just below a simmer. (Or turn off the heat and bring it back up to a simmer in step 5.)

4. In a large nonstick stir-fry pan or other large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the radishes, scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the endive and continue to cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 more minutes, or until all the veggies have some browning and are somewhat softened. Add the ginger and garlic. Stir, cooking until fragrant and softened, about 1 minute. Add the peas and the chopped spinach and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Add the soba noodles to the pan, toss to combine, and remove the pan from the heat. Portion the veggie-noodle mixture into three or four shallow soup bowls.

5. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the simmering water into the glass measuring cup with the miso mixture and whisk well to combine. Pour and scrape that mixture into the the rest of the hot water in the saucepan and whisk very well to combine. Ladle the miso broth into the bowls over the veggie-noodle mixture. Garnish each with a plenty of mint, a lime wedge, and sprouts, if using.

Susie Middleton