Vegetarian Udon Soup
1 Tbsp rice bran or other high-heat oil
1 c yellow onion, sliced, slices cut in thirds
12 ozs mushrooms (I used a mixture of cremini and shiitake)
10 c water
2-3 Tbsp broth concentrate (I used Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base), to taste
1 Tbsp grated ginger, more to taste
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce, to taste
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 c Napa cabbage, shredded
2 c carrots, sliced on bias
8 ozs prepared frozen potstickers or dumplings
1/2 c pre-roasted asparagus, cut in 1" pieces (optional)
12 ozs fresh udon noodles
3 scallions, sliced
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook eggs 6 minutes at a simmer. Remove from heat with slotted spoon; run under cold water until just cool enough to handle. Peel; place 1 egg in each of 4 soup bowls.
While eggs cook, heat large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add oil and onion; cook until onions are softened with brown edges. Push onions to side; add as many mushrooms as will fit in a single layer. Cook without stirring until mushrooms begin to give up their liquid, then stir and push to side of pot. Repeat until all mushrooms are cooked.
Add a bit of water to pot. Stir vigorously to bring up browned bits. Add remaining water, broth concentrate, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. When mixture comes to a boil, add cabbage, carrots, dumplings and udon noodles, according to the time it takes them to cook until just tender-crisp. Refer to dumpling and noodle packages for timings. (My soup was done in less than 5 minutes from this point.)
When soup is done, use slotted spoon and tongs to transfer dumplings and noodles to bowls with eggs. Ladle broth atop this. Sprinkle soup with scallions. Serve with chopsticks and a spoon; pass sesame oil, black pepper grinder, and Sriracha at the table.