I'll make this brief: Sometimes, nothing but noodles will do. It's chilly, I'm hungry, and all I want is to slurp up carbs from a bowl. Maybe it's spaghetti with a simple marinara sauce. Maybe it's a soup like ramen, where the noodles come first and the broth (and everything else) after.
Or perhaps it's something in between. That's the appeal of a dish from "Veganomicon," whose 10th anniversary edition is just out. Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero call it "The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook," and it really is, with instructions for tempeh bacon, chickpea cutlets, nondairy milks and plenty more. Over the past decade, I've made plenty of dishes from the book, some of them more involved and others simple, and one of the simplest combines udon noodles, shiitake mushrooms and kale in a miso-enriched broth.
It's comfort of the highest order, but it's not quite a soup; there's just enough broth to give you something to sip after you've dispatched the noodles. The authors suggest adding seitan for extra heartiness, but that's not (usually) my jam. Chickpeas, on the other hand? Yes, please. They, along with the other vegetables, give me a little something to chew between slurps.