Monday, February 22, 2010

Vegetarian Miso Soup

Miso soup is considered a comfort food in our house. Miso, a fermented soybean paste, is well known for it's healing properties. While it originated in China, it is a staple of the Japanese diet. Many of you may have enjoyed the traditional miso soup that is served in most Japanese restaurants. La Fuji Mama has a very good recipe on her blog for that style of miso soup.

This preparation is a vegetarian soup that I learned to make years ago when I first starting cooking macrobiotic food. I'll be using some of the roasted vegetables that I prepared yesterday, but it can just as easily be made with all raw vegetables.
Vegetarian Miso Soup with Whole Grains
Serves 3-4
4 cups of filtered water
1/2 piece of kombu
1/4 of a small white onion
1 Shitake mushroom (stem removed and slice thinly)
2 cups of last night's roasted vegetables
2 cups of diced carrots and squash mix (buttercup or butternut)
2 leaves of collard greens (sliced thinly)
3 tbsp of yellow miso (available at health food stores)
Add the water, sliced onion (cut into 1/2 moon shape), sliced shitake mushroom, and the kombu.  Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Note: If you're using the uncooked carrots and squash add those now, too.
If using the roasted vegetables add them with the collard greens after the onion, mushroom and kombu have simmered for 5 minutes. Then simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

While this is cooking put the miso paste into a small bowl:
Add a few tablespoons of the soup broth to the miso and mix until it's a smooth paste:

Add this back to the soup and simmer for 2 minutes. Don't boil the miso as it destroys the enzymes.
Remove the kombu and serve with some of those leftover grains from last night:

Enjoy!  It's soothing, delicious and oh so good for you. Miso should be eaten just after it's cooked so just make the quantity that your're planning to eat.

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