A supremely satisfying simple dinner.

This simple beef noodle soup is one of my favorite winter dishes. The smell of cinnamon, ginger, and beef simmering is cozy and comforting.

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It’s also a great way to get your kids to try a variety of leafy green vegetables. Bok choy, spinach, and kale all work well with this dish. You can make this recipe ahead and its flavor improves with time. This soup can also be made in a slow cooker, which saves a huge amount of scrambling at dinnertime. When you’re ready to serve, just add the veggies!

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Cinnamon Beef Noodle Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This cozy beef noodle soup is a great way to get your kids to try a few new veggies. Pack it with bok choy, kale, or spinach.
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 coins fresh ginger
  • ½ cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods
  • ½ pound noodles, such as udon or fettuccine
  • 4 cups bok choy leaves, ends discarded
  • Scallions, for garnish
  1. Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is fragrant.
  2. Add the tamari, beef, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and 8 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 90 minutes, or until the beef is tender. The longer you cook the meat, the softer it will become.
  3. While the soup is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Cook until just tender, drain, then set aside.
  4. Remove the ginger, garlic, star anise, and cinnamon sticks from the soup. Skim the surface to remove any fat. Add the bok choy leaves. Bring the soup back to a boil and cook for 2 minutes more, or until the leaves are wilted.
  5. Portion a small amount of cooked noodles into individual bowls, then ladle the soup over the noodles. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped scallions.
Tip: To make this dish in a slow cooker, sauté the garlic and ginger in a large frying pan, then add the beef and sear until the edges begin to brown. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker, then add 8 cups water, tamari, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Set to low for 6 to 8 hours, or high for 3 to 4 hours


Reprinted from THE 52 NEW FOODS CHALLENGE: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year, with 150 recipes. Reprinted by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Tyler Lee.