Japan’s Oldest Soba Shop
1 small spaghetti squash
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 medium carrots
Fresh or dried thyme to taste (optional)
3/4 cup beluga lentils, preferably soaked overnight and rinsed
2 lemongrass stalks
3 garlic cloves, minced
One 1-inch piece of ginger, diced
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 small chile, seeded and minced
Handful kaffir lime leaves (optional)
2 lemons, plus more for serving
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
Cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Cut squash in half and remove seeds.
Rub the flesh with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. P
lace onto a rimmed baking tray, cut side down.
Clean carrots, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, thyme leaves (if using) and coconut oil and toss to coat.
Arrange around the squash on the baking tray.
Bake for 30 minutes or longer, until both carrots and squash are soft throughout.
Remove the carrots if they are ready before the squash.
In the meantime, rinse lentils and put them into a large saucepan with 10 cups of filtered water.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until they are soft but still have a bite to them.
Salt at the last 5 minutes.
Drain over colander, saving the cooking water.
Pour cooking water back into the saucepan.
Remove the harder outer layers from the lemongrass, bruise with the back of a chef’s knife and finely chop.
Add lemongrass, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chile and kaffir lime leaves (if using) to the cooking water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add juice of 2 lemons and salt to taste.
Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes.
Strain, discarding the solids.
Scoop the “noodles” out of the squash with a fork and add them to the broth along with lentils.
Dice carrots and add them to the broth as well.
Reheat to a near boil over high heat, add spinach and remove from heat.
Serve with more lemon and cilantro leaves.