Miso Soup may be the easiest, fastest, healthiest soup to make from scratch. You’ll need to source a couple Asian ingredients for this but it’s absolutely worth it. I like mine with added mushrooms and tofu – both of which take more time to cut than to cook.
I’ll get to the miso part of miso soup in a moment. What you really want to focus on is Dashi. Dashi is this amazing Japanese soup stock made from Kombu and Katsuobushi / Bonito Flakes. These ingredients are basically seaweed and smokey fish flakes. Sounds weird, smells awful, tastes delicious! To make dashi, add a 5 inch piece of kombu to 4 cups of water in a medium pot and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Just as the water begins to boil, remove the kombu from the pot. Add a half cup of Bonito Flakes to the water and remove from the heat. Allow the flakes to steep for 5 minutes then strain out. You’ve got Dashi!!
Now that you have Dashi, let’s make Miso Soup. Miso is a fermented product with lots of gut-healthy bacterium. The last thing you want to do is kill off the health benefits by adding it straight to boiling dashi. Add the miso to a small bowl then whisk in some dashi to dissolve the miso. If you’re making two 12 ounce bowls of soup you can add one tablespoon of miso to each bowl and whisk in a 1/2 cup of dashi. Set this aside while you add extras to the soup.
I like to heat the mushrooms, tofu, and green onions for a couple minutes just to take off some of the rawness. The thinner you slice the ingredients the less time they’ll take. I say this is a fast and easy recipe but it’s also a relaxing recipe. Take your time and let the flavors get to know each other.
When you’re ready to serve, ladle in a cup of hot (not boiling) dashi over the miso in your serving bowls. You can play around with the ratios that you like. My method goes as follows; dissolve 1 tablespoon miso in 1/2 cup dashi for a serving of 1 1/2 cups of soup.
- 5 inches Kombu
- 4 Cups Water
- 1/2 Cup Bonito Flakes
- 4 Tbsp organic Red Miso
- 4 oz Tofu, cut in to 3/8 inch cubes
- 1/2 Cup thinly sliced Baby Shiitake
- 1/2 Cup Beech Mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp thinly sliced Green Onions
- Add 4 cups water and Kombu to a medium pot. Heat over medium heat just until it begins to boil. Remove and discard Kombu. Add 1/2 cup Bonito Flakes to pot and remove from heat. Steep for 5 minutes then strain off Bonito.
- For each serving, add one tablespoon miso past to a small serving bowl. Add 1/2 cup dashi and whisk to dissolve. Set aside.
- Add thinly sliced vegetables and tofu to the pot of dashi and heat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
- Serve one cup of soup in each bowl with miso.