- 6 ounces green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 lemon, preferably organic, thinly sliced and seeds removed
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, plus more for serving
- ½ teaspoon unrefined sesame oil
- Four 4-ounce fillets wild-caught Alaskan salmon (skin on or off)
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 6 ounces soba noodles
- Black or white sesame seeds
- Chili crisp, Sriracha, or other hot sauce (optional)
This hearty noodle soup begins by roasting green beans, garlic, leeks and lemon slices on a sheet pan in the oven. You’ll nestle salmon fillets amongst the vegetables in the last 10 minutes until buttery medium-rare. A stir-together tahini sauce does double duty by basting the fish and flavoring the broth. The result is a one-bowl meal with perfectly cooked salmon, earthy soba noodles, vegetables, and tart bits of roasted lemon all swimming in a rich sesame broth.
You might already know that wild-caught salmon is considered one of the best foods for brain health. But did you know that fish eaters perform better on memory tests and experience less cognitive decline when compared to those who eat less fish? And, people who enjoy fish on a regular basis are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. High-quality fish like wild-caught salmon is powerful brain food!
One reason is that salmon provides two types of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) that are crucial to brain health. The brain relies on these fatty acids to repair and build brain cells throughout life. Salmon is a good source of other key nutrients, too, like selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12.
Then there’s the brain-boosting dose of astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that also gives salmon its rosy hue. A type of carotenoid, astaxanthin is thought to work synergistically with the omega-3s to protect the brain and nervous system from inflammation while lowering harmful blood cholesterol.
Tips from Annie Fenn:
Be careful not to overcook the soba noodles. You want them to be slightly underdone when you turn off the heat.
If making the soup ahead of time, cook the soba noodles separately and add just before serving.
1) Preheat your oven to 375ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the green beans, lemon slices, leeks, and garlic on the sheet pan. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and toss well until evenly coated. Roast until the vegetables and lemons are soft and starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, stir together the tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small measuring cup.
3) Remove the pan from the oven, flip the lemon slices over, and nestle the salmon, skin-side down (if skin on), amongst the vegetables. Brush the salmon with half the tahini mixture and save the rest for the broth. Bake until the salmon is just turning opaque, 8 to 10 minutes. Set the pan aside.
4) While the salmon cooks, bring the stock to a gentle simmer in a large pot. Add the noodles and cook until barely done, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and place the pot away from the stove to keep the noodles from cooking more. Stir in the remaining tahini sauce.
5) Add the leeks, green beans, and half the roasted lemons to the soup. Coarsely chop the garlic and remaining lemon, and stir into the soup.
6) To serve, divide the noodles and soup between bowls, topping each with a piece of salmon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with hot sauce, if using, on the side, and more soy sauce, if you like.