Miso soup is one of those things that I always forget is in my repertoire. I think it’s because I usually make soup as a meal, not as a starter (that’s what salad is for more often than not) and normally, miso soup is not filling enough to be classified as dinner. I thoroughly enjoy miso soup but it makes me sad when I get some at a restaurant and there’s one piece of tofu, maybe a couple of pieces of seaweed, and a shitake mushroom floating around. While the broth is arguably the best part of miso soup, we can do better with the fillings people! In an attempt to have this ridiculously easy, fast meal on rotation more regularly, I decided to make it into more of a substantial meal.
If you haven’t used miso before, it is a paste made from fermented soybeans, rice and/or barley. It is salty and savoury and delicious in dressings, on fish and in miso soup, of course. Bonito flakes are dried, fermented and smoked tuna. Both products are fairly common in Japanese cooking and will likely be found in the Asian section of your supermarket or at a specialty store that sells Asian produce and products. Basically, there is a lot of fermenting going on in the ingredients for miso soup. You’ll also notice that the soup will separate as it sits, this is normal, just stir it up and enjoy!
One of the best things about miso soup is that unlike other soups, there is no lengthy simmering, or even boiling, involved. From what I understand, boiling miso is a big no-no. By boiling the miso, you kill its health benefits and flavour, so if you’re adding anything that needs boiling into the soup, make sure to do so before adding in the miso and bonito flakes.
What I’m trying to say is this is definitely one of the fastest, easiest meal to make. You get some water, throw in some miso paste and benito flakes, whisk it up, add some ingredients that hardly ever require cooking and you’re set! This recipe definitely complicates things wee bit, but nothing too extreme. There are some noodles to make this into more of a meal, but which can certainly be skipped if you are eating this as a starter, some seaweed that is soaked (although I always include this) and some enoki mushrooms that are fried off for a couple of minutes for a crispy, delicious topping. Everything else: the spring onions, tofu, and peas, just get warmed through and you’ve got yourself a flavourful, filling, healthy, fast meal. Personally, I can’t ask for more than that.
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a simmer.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup dried seaweed and some hot water. Set aside to sit.
In a small pan, heat up olive oil over medium-high heat.
Saute enoki mushrooms until crispy. Season with some pepper.
Add diced tofu, spring onions and rehydrated seaweed into simmering water.
In a small bowl with a splash of water, whisk miso paste until it is pourable and easy to incorporate into the soup (just easier than whisking it in the saucepan).
Add miso paste and benito flakes to soup and turn heat down.
Add peas and soba noodles and re-heat for about 1 minute.
Serve topped with crispy enoki mushrooms.
Miso Soup Meal Recipe was last modified: March 20, 2014 by