I have gone off and on miso soup through the years, but lately, it's defenitely been one of my "go to" quick and healthy meals. Who doesn't love a bowl of salty, brothy veggies, with a little tofu or noodles thrown in on occasion? Sign me up!
Over the years, I've tried a variety of recipes and approaches towards miso soup, and have run into several road blocks -- mainly, that traditional miso soup relies heavily on a broth containing bonito, which does not fit in with my "strict" vegetarian diet. (Plus, I just think it tastes nasty. My preference, and all!)
Recently, I've discovered what I believe to be the perfect vegetarian miso soup, using a quick, homemade broth that is both clean tasting and complex. Observe:
1. Per serving, bring 2 cups of water, one dried shiitake mushroom, one strip of konbu, and as much ginger as you would like to a boil:
After the broth boils, remove it from the heat and allow it to steep as long as you'd like -- at least a half-hour, preferably an hour if you have the time. (This is an easy thing to do in advance, if you'd like.)
2. While your broth is steeping, prepare your other ingredients:
Tonight, I used a big pile of sliced shiitake mushroom caps, some asparagus from my freezer, and sliced green onions. I also like sugar snap peas, pressed and cubed tofu, soba noodles (broken into 1-inch pieces,) and julienned carrot in miso soup. I try to limit myself to three additional ingredients, just to keep the whole thing from turning into a stew. :)
3. Remove the dried mushroom, konbu, and ginger from your broth. Return it to a boil, and add your additional veggies:
Lower the heat and simmer the soup for at least five minutes, unless you are using noodles, then check the package and simmer until your noodles are cooked through.
4. Stir in a spoonful of miso:
I don't like the mess of removing some of the broth, dissolving the miso in this broth and then returning it to the pot, so I press my miso through a small strainer directly into the soup.
Have you ever made miso soup before? What is your preferred method?