We love our Infused Black Garlic Salt for the added depth of flavor it brings to simple dishes like this noodle soup. Nourishing and satisfying, this recipe happens to be vegan and gluten free (be sure the label says gluten free on the noodle package as some varieties are made with wheat flour). Because this soup only has a few ingredients, charring the cabbage before adding it to the soup and seasoning each component as you go will ensure that your soup doesn't taste bland.
1 16 ounce package soba noodles, gluten free, if necessary
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems reserved, caps cut in half
1 pound head of green cabbage, cored, sliced into ½"-thick ribbons
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (or dried mushrooms of choice)
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and crushed
3/4 teaspoon Infused Black Garlic Salt, plus more for seasoning
Freshly ground Tellicherry Black Peppercorns
Cook soba noodles to al dente according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high and cook the mushroom caps until golden brown and softened, about 7–9 minutes. Season mushrooms with a pinch of black garlic salt and freshly cracked black pepper, transfer to a small bowl or plate and set aside.
In the same skillet, add cabbage in an even layer and cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt before flipping to the other side with tongs. Continue to cook until lightly charred and tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Bring the reserved mushroom stems, dried mushrooms, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon black garlic salt and 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium, simmering for 15-20 minutes. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and discard the solids. Pour broth back into the large pot along with the cooked mushrooms and cabbage. Simmer for an additional 3-5 minutes to bring flavors together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, divide the noodles into individual bowls. Ladle soup over noodles and garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil or chili oil.
Mushroom broth can be made up to 2 days ahead.