Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Miso Soup

I love miso soup, but really had no idea how to make it or much about it. So I did some research and miso soup is not merely the little brothy bowl with cloudy stuff floating in it that people gulp down before eating sushi. Rather, it is an entire genre of food, good for breakfast, lunch or dinner and adapted to individual tastes, access to ingredients, type of miso (white, red, yellow, etc.) and much more.

With that, I made what I would say is a non-traditional, simple shiromiso (means white miso) soup that ended up being a delicious version (and surprising upgrade) on the American sushi bar miso soup I normally encounter. The broth/water/miso mixture is standard, but as far as what you mix in? Totally up to you. And honestly - it was far easier than making chicken soup and just as warming and comforting.

Miso Soup:
(serves 2 as a first course, 1 as an entree)

2 c vegetable or chicken broth (preferably homemade, or low-sodium canned)
2 c cold water
3-4 tbs white miso (shiromiso), to taste
1/4 c dried shitake mushrooms
1/4 c dried seaweed, cut into 2-inch squares
1/2 c thinly sliced green onions
1/4 c firm tofu, cut into small (dice sized) cubes

Warm broth and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shitakes and simmer 15-20 minutes or until softened.

Next, add dried seaweed.

Then add green onions and tofu and gently simmer until all ingredients are softened and incorporated.

Reduce heat to a very low simmer, then add miso paste.

Stir gently until all miso is disolved. Serve immediately.

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