A little lesson. (FARMERS MISO SOUP)September 19, 2013
I am a miso lover. I need to have miso soup at least once a week, usually as the precursor to some sushi even though that feels like the lazy way out. Miso paste in general has so much more potential than a few cubes of tofu and some lonely sails of seaweed. By learning a few different (easy!) ways to use it, miso can be a staple in your fridge forever and ever. You, as the owner of a high-quality tub of miso, can reap the many health benefits for just as long.
Since it’s a fermented food, it is important is to avoid boiling miso. High heat will harm the living enzymes that make this a genuine superfood as it will also dull the unique flavors. Use miso to ‘finish’ dishes that you have created rather than adding it when there is still cooking to be done.
Miso to-do list:
-Mix into softened butter to make ‘miso butter’, the best topping for seafood ever.
-Mix with minced garlic and chili paste as a condiment for grilled meat.
-Whisk into salad dressing or marinades.
-Just miso solo in a bit of simple broth.
-I’ve seen people use it in pesto as a substitute for parmesan but…
Below is a hearty soup recipe that uses a bunch of fantastic end-of-summer vegetables, but any mixture of veg would work. Once the soup is off of the stove, dunk a measuring cup into the broth, scooping out about one cup of hot liquid. Drop a few spoonfuls of miso into measuring cup and whisk/stir until it is dissolved. Pour the miso mixture back into the soup pot and adjust to taste. You can simply repeat this process until you have reached the desired amount of umami.
Try potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, cabbage, spinach and/or noodles. This recipe can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like, the main thing is hot (not boiling) liquid*, dissolve miso, enjoy.
FARMERS MISO SOUP
2 quarts stock or water
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 kohlrabi, peeled and cubed into small chunks
1 celery rib, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup chopped kale leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound tofu, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 splash of rice vinegar
a few red pepper flakes
1/4 cup wakame seaweed, soaked in cold water until softened
1/4 cup miso paste (any color)
1 inch ginger
chopped chives to garnish
- Place the stock in a large pot and bring to a gentle boil. Add onion, kohlrabi and celery. Simmer about 10 minutes.
- Add kale, garlic and tofu. Cook until all vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar and red pepper to season. Taste and adjust. Add wakame.
- Take one cup of stock out of the pot and place in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk miso into the hot broth and pour it back into the soup. Taste and adjust.
- Ladle soup into bowls and using a fine grater (preferably a microplane), grate some carrot and ginger into each soup and sprinkle with chives to garnish.
- When reheating the soup, warm it but don’t boil. I’ll say it again.
*Make your own stock! I love stock making.