The 5 Stages of CSA Boxes, or Chinese No-Chicken Noodle Soup

Whenever I order a harvest box from Skarsgard Farms, I go through this process:

Stage 1: Receiving the email announcement for the week’s selections. Me: Oooh I’m definitely ordering this week!
Stage 2: I place my order. Me: I can’t wait until Tuesday! I have so many ideas, I know exactly what I’m going to make!
Stage 3: I pick up my order. Me: I don’t even remember what I ordered. This is awesome! I’ll make a quick salad or stir fry tonight with some of the produce and maybe wash and prep the rest later.
Stage 4: The next few days. Me: Ugh, I’m so tired and lazy. I’ll prep/cook something tomorrow.
Stage 5: Still the next few days. Me: Crap! I need to make something before it all goes bad! What do I make?!?!?

For more info on Skarsgard Farms and CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) in El Paso, visit this post.>>

So, what do I end up making when I’m freaking out at Stage 5? It’s usually soup.

Below is my latest test kitchen success with some CSA produce I needed to use up. I basically wanted to make a unique cabbage soup. I found a Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Green Onions on the Epicurious app. I was intrigued by the use of tahini. It would be great to sub tofu or faux chicken for the chicken in the recipe, but I didn’t have any on hand; I tweaked the recipe to fit my pantry needs.

 chinese chicken soup top

Chinese No-Chicken Noodle Soup

This would make a great vegan chicken noodle soup for when you’re feeling sick. This might even be my new pho. You can use any cabbage you like, except maybe red cabbage for aesthetic reasons. If you hate cabbage, omit it. I used carrots, zucchini and yellow bell pepper, but use any veggies you need to get rid of. This broth is delicious!

Reviewers successfully subbed peanut butter for tahini. Use any or no noodles. The recipe calls for yakisoba, but I used maifun brown rice noodles I found at Sprouts.

The original recipe asks for 1 tablespoon of sugar, but I would decrease it to half. It was initially very sweet, but evened out a little the next day and after adding noodles.

3 garlic cloves,  minced or grated
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame  seed paste)* or peanut butter
2 tablespoons minced or grated, peeled  fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon  sugar
1 tablespoon seasoned rice  vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic  sauce (I used sambal oelek chili paste) **
4-6 cups chopped Napa or green cabbage (I shredded it in the food processor)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 small or 1 large zucchini, diced
5-6 cups low sodium vegetable or no-chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh  cilantro

  1. Whisk garlic, tahini, ginger, sugar, vinegar,  and chili sauce in small bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil or coconut oil (I used half of each) in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add carrots and zucchini and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add cabbage and sauté  until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth and bring to boil. Add tahini-garlic mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer  for about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool  slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
  5. Stir in cilantro. Season soup with pepper and salt or soy sauce.
  6. If using noodles, cook them according to package directions. Drain. Place in individual bowls and ladle soup over them. 
  7. Garnish with more cilantro and chili paste or sriracha. 

For leftovers, store cooked noodles separately from soup.

chinese chicken soup side

* Sold at Middle Eastern markets, natural  foods stores and some supermarkets.

** Available at Asian markets, specialty  foods stores and some supermarkets.

Find the original recipe at:



    • That’s crazy! Here I am thinking I stumbled onto something new. I should know better that that’s never the case in cooking 🙂
      I didn’t know you used to have another blog. It’s so good!

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