Some days I just need to hit the restart button. Typically this means looking inward for some peace and eating something that fills my stomach and soul with goodness. This past weekend, it was some much needed quiet time and miso soup.
Miso soup is not overly difficult to make, it just involves a number of separate steps, such as making the dashi and reconstituting the wakame (dried seaweed), that may make it seem so. You can buy prepared dashi, though I’ve never tried it so I can’t recommend it. Once you have everything ready to go, the soup itself comes together very quickly.
Miso Soup with Shitake Mushrooms Recipe
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 oz. kombu (dried kelp)
- 1 heaping cup katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
Add water and kombu and bring just to a boil, then shut off heat. Stir in bonito flakes and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh colander lined with paper towels. Discard solids and set stock aside until ready to use.
For a bit of smokey flavor, I grilled my tofu in a grill pan. You can certainly just add drained and blotted tofu to your soup, without this step. If you prefer not to add tofu, skip it altogether – miso soup is just as delicious without it!
- 1 14 oz. package of extra firm or firm tofu, drained and blotted well and then cut into 5 slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it’s hot, add tofu. Cook for about 8-10 minutes on each side, until lightly grilled. Remove from heat, cut slices into cubes and set aside until ready to use.
- 1/4 cup dried wakame (a type of seaweed)
- about 2 cups hot water
Place wakame in a bowl and cover with hot water by at least a couple of inches. Let stand 20 minutes, until wakame is reconstituted, and then drain off water. Set wakame aside until ready to use.
making the soup:
- 6 cups dashi
- 1/4 cup shiro miso
- 6 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- reconstituted wakame
- 4 scallions, sliced
In a bowl, combine 3 cups of dashi and the miso. Whisk well to blend and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add remaining 3 cups of the dashi and the mushrooms. Bring just to a simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add wakame, tofu and the reserved dashi/miso mix. Heat just until all ingredients are warm and then remove from heat. Serve immediately, garnished with scallions.
Miso soup is packed full of healthy benefits as long as you don’t use high cooking temperatures for an extended length of time, which will cancel out the fermentation effects of the miso paste, along with destroying the benefits of the other ingredients. Don’t boil it and don’t leave it on the heat longer than necessary. If you’re conscious of these things, your miso soup will retain its benefits along with being delicious.
Another restorative soup I make is an udon noodle soup which is packed with veggies and goodness. Give it a try and see how you feel.
Enjoy and be well!