Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Miso Soup

As a child I hated soup. Passionately. I was already in the running for being one the fussiest children in the world in regards to eating, but soup was one of those dishes that I flat out refused to eat. Looking back now, I suspect this was due to my experience of soup being limited to your standard tomato or pumpkin soups (I'm still not much of a fan of either). Chris, on the other hand, loves soup, and was certainly not willing to give it up when we moved out of home. With a bit of encouragement, I will now happily indulge in most soups presented to me. I'm glad I do, it's the perfect winter meal!

Miso soup was something quite different. Miso paste? Tofu? Such things had never been seen in the refrigerator when I lived at home. After a friend dished up a basic version to us a few months back, Chris and I were inspired to try our hand at making it. Courtesy to one of our favourite cookbooks, this has become one of those dishes that regularly appears on our dinner table.

Miso Soup (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 leek, white part only, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp coriander stems, chopped
2 cups chopped/julienned vegetables (carrots, broccoli, beans, peas, etc)
2 cups filtered water
1 litre vegetable stock
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (I usually omit these, as I have trouble finding them)
180g buckwheat soba noodles
1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup miso paste (I use white miso)
200g silken tofu, sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 cup coriander leaves
nori, cut into thin strips (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and sauté the leek. Stir through the ginger, garlic and coriander stems and sauté until soft. Add the chopped vegetables and stir to coat, then add the water, vegetable stock and mushrooms. Simmer for seven minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the noodles - the variety I use don't take very long to cook, but if you use a thicker noodle you may need to add it earlier. Reduce the heat slightly, and stir in the tamari and sesame oil. Finally, add the miso paste and stir until dissolved, then turn off the heat. Try not to let it boil, as this apparently kills the live enzymes in the miso.

To serve, ladle into four bowls, add the tofu and garnish with spring onions, coriander leaves and nori. Delicious!

Minus the nori sheets this time...
I have grown to love Asian food, particularly anything with sesame oil - it just smells amazing! What are your thoughts on miso soup? What's your favourite soup recipe? 

--
Reanna

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