Eater's Notes - Secret Ingredient Noodle Soup

In a toddler household, when a new movie hits the DVD player, it tends to take over the imaginations of the little ones for a week or so, and this week's "heavy rotation" film has been Kung Fu Panda, an entertaining enough film and one that my boys seem to prefer over Alice in Wonderland and Bambi. Not a lot of Wuxia mojo in either of those Disney classics, although Tweedledee and Tweedledum could spar some, I hear.  Fortunately, the  boys haven't yet mastered the Eagle Claw fighting style, so very little damage has been done to the household, each other, or the parental units.  They have become obsessed, however, with the title character's pedigree in a noodle-shop-owning family, so we've had to improvise a close approximation of Mr. Ping's Secret Ingredient Noodle Soup.  In a complete violation of tradition, then, I give you the recipe for our version of the soup. (The secret ingredient?  There is no secret ingredient. To make something special you just have to believe it's special.)

12 cups of water
8 cubes vegetable bullion
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 8-oz jar of sliced water chestnut
1 16-oz package of udon noodle
1/2 tsp of garlic salt
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of soy sauce
1/2 tsp of sesame oil

Directions: Pretty simple.  Combine water and bullion in a big pot, bring to simmer.  In a separate pot, cook and drain udon noodles.  Combine noodles and remaining ingredients in the big pot, simmer for at least an hour.  Serve to toddlers, leaving out a great deal of the broth.  Encourage them to guess the secret ingredient. Avoid noodle fights. If children complain about the soup, deploy Ten Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

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