Improvised Miso soup

Improvised Miso Soup

I’m a huge fan of Miso Soup, I mean big time! I’ve always wanted to try and make it at home, but it was just one of those things I just never got around to. Plus when I’ve read about it in the past it’s a bit intimidating, mainly in that you can not let the soup boil once the miso is added. Talk about pressure! ;o)

Last week I decided I finally wanted to try my hand at making Miso Soup. I got some brown rice miso and some tofu and thought I’d be good to go. I didn’t however get any dashi stock. I did some reading and found that one version of dashi stock was made with dried mushrooms. The only problem with that was I didn’t have any dried mushrooms on hand. I did however have some baby portabella mushrooms so I decided to make some mushroom broth from that and go from there. In other words I improvised! The end result turned out great and was an almost dead ringer for the Miso Soup I order when Jamison picks up sushi for me.

What You’ll Need:
1 package of mushrooms (Note: As I mentioned above I used baby portabellas.)
Enough water to cover the mushrooms in a 2 1/2 quart pot
1 package of firm tofu, cut into small squares
1-2 tablespoons of miso
2 cups of spinach, chopped into strips

In a 2 1/2 quart pot cook mushrooms in water until mushrooms are tender. Remove mushrooms and reserve broth. (Note: You do not want to add salt to this as the miso is salty enough to flavor the whole soup. Also you can eat the mushrooms as is or use them in something like Mushroom Stroganoff or Mushroom Spread.)

Once the mushrooms are removed add in the tofu and let it cook for 5 or 6 minutes. (Note: Tofu absorbs flavor from the components of the soup. On it’s own it doesn’t taste like much.) After the tofu has been in for a few minutes lower the heat and make sure the soup is NOT boiling! Stir in miso until dissolved and make sure the soup does NOT go to a boil after the miso is added. (Note: I don’t know why you’re not supposed to boil it, but I kept reading that over and over in terms of miso and it’s even printed on the side of my miso container. If anyone out there knows why drop me a comment! ;o))

Once the miso is added add the spinach and cook until spinach is just wilted. Serve immediately. (Note: I used the bagged baby spinach and I know it says it’s “triple washed” or some such who hah, but wash it! They put some kind of stabilizer or preservative on it, even on the organic versions, and when I don’t wash it it makes my tongue numb. That tells you it’s something you don’t want to be eating! Wash, wash, wash! ;o) Plus you don’t know who has handled it after it was “triple washed” so don’t take any chances!)

Notes: Using the mushroom broth makes this vegan, just so you know. I even ended up freezing part of the batch for use later. You can also top this soup with chopped green onion. The place I order mine from does both spinach and green onion, but I didn’t have any green onion on hand.

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