How To Meals Under £5 – Spicy vegetable noodle soup

What you will need:

  • Spring onion x2
  • Broccoli (2-3 mini ‘trees’ worth)
  • Button mushrooms, or any mushrooms on offer (3-5, depending on size)
  • Chicken stock cube (x1)
  • Quick cook egg noodles (1 servings worth)
  • Chilli paste/flakes (tsp)
  • Cornflour (1 tsp) optional.
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Water (200-250ml) depending on how ‘soupy’ you want it.

So, you’re probably thinking ‘where are all the rest of the spices, where are the fancy vegetables’ this is student/poor graduate noodle soup, which is actually surprisingly tasty (and healthy, virtually no fat in this dish..)

I managed to cook this one up as a graduate, unable to afford the fancy Pret-A-Manger sandwiches in my lunch break at work (i’ve only just started, and currently deep in my overdraft). I went to Lidl, picked up some veggies and noodles and hoped for the best…And actually ended up with something worth while.

They unfortunately didn’t have any exotic veggies in sight, and I was in a bit of a rush. You can virtually do this with any veg apart from Aubergine or Courgette.. I just don’t feel like these ‘soup’ very well at all.

For a whole bunch of spring onion, a big broccoli, and basically a full pack of everything in the above came to just under £5. I had it three out of the five days I was at work and it lasted me pretty good! It all depends on how hungry you are. The cornflour is optional. I personally didn’t put it because I don’t like my noodle soups too thick, but some people prefer to make it that way.

Now, i don’t have photos because I didn’t really fancy taking them whilst everybody at work would most likely be staring at me strangely, but I promise you, it is the EASIEST recipe i have ever done in my life, and took less than 15 mins.


1 – Grab a chopping board, and get all of your ingredients ready. Wash the vegetables before you slice ’em.

Chop the mushrooms roughly into quarters, cut the broccoli quite small, you don’t want huge trees in there otherwise they won’t cook. Finely chop the garlic, and slice the spring onion about 1cm thick.

2- pour about a quarter of your water into a pan and bring to boil. Add the garlic and stock cube and wait for this to dissolve.

3- Add the mushrooms first, and cook for about a minute and a half. Then add the broccoli.

4- Make sure to add more splashes of water where necessary, but not all of it as you want to save some for the noodles. Sprinkle some chilli in at this point, (if you want cornflour, nows the time to add about half a teaspoon or so, even more if you want it thicker.)

5- Once the mushrooms and broccoli are cooked (hopefully you like them al-dente, and not cooked to death. This should take about 3 mins in total) add the rest of the water and the noodles.

6 – The noodles shouldn’t take any longer than 3 mins to cook. The noodles and veg should be cooked within 6 minutes, 7 max. as any longer will just make it tasteless and rubbish.

7 – Right before you take it off the heat, throw in your spring onions. these don’t need to be cooked – you can even sprinkle them on the top raw for a bit of extra crunch. I like to do half and half!

8- serve and enjoy the deliciousness!




Claire Stapley


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