Quick and Simple
Posted by eemilla on March 13, 2009
With the weather roller-coaster, I decided to make miso soup to help us stave off colds. Miso soup is my chicken noodle as I hate chicken and the memories of overcooked, bloated noodles that haunted the stuff from the cans. Not only is miso tasty, cheap (16 oz tub for about seven dollars at the Co-op, but for about eight cups of soup I only used two tablespoons), and super healthy but it works wonders by turning a few veggies and some watery stock into a simply satisfying entree way beyond soup. Unlike other soups, miso is so flavorful that you really only need to warm the stock rather than cook it down. For an accompaniment (and just be sure that I could eat left over soup for the next few days) I also cooked up some brown rice then sauteed some garlic and kale in sesame oil and garnished it with sesame seeds and peanuts.
- Press and drain one half pound of firm or extra firm tofu, then dice or you can crumble it
- Peel and chop one medium onion in a medium to fine dice
- Peel and dice three to five cloves of garlic
- Peel and cut one medium to large carrot into thin discs or half moons
- Cut three pieces of kombu (assuming pieces are 1-2 x 5-8 inches); I have also used a few sheets of wakame cut into one inch squares
- Heat a tablespoon or two of sesame oil over medium-high heat
- Add the onions and tofu (be careful of the oil splatter from the wet tofu) and cook until tofu has browned a bit
- Add the garlic, carrots, and kombu then pour three cups of veggie stock plus one cup of water into the pan
- Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for five to ten minutes or just enough to heat the liquid and soften the kombu (if using the wakame don’t add it until after the stock has boiled)
- While the stock is heating, thin two tablespoons of miso paste (I usually use red or chickpea) with water to give it the consistency of creamy salad dressing
- Remove the stock from the heat and temper the miso paste with some of the soup; the soup should not be too hot as you will kill the probiotics and reduce miso’s health benefits
- Once the soup is serving temperature, combine the miso liquid and the soup then serve
- This stores fine in the refrigerator, but I have never been able to keep it for more than a few days. When reheating be sure not to boil the soup.
Monday was on the other end of the temperature scale when my husband made his meal plan and did his shopping so he grabbed arugula, a pear, walnuts (which also went into the pesto), and yummy, stinky bleu cheese. I think the red onion got lost, but he reduced some balsamic vinegar which I whipped into a nice, sweet dressing with olive oil. Not being a fan of the walnuts, I supplemented the crunchiness factor with sunflower seeds. It was a classic bistro salad, and topped off with some coarsely ground pepper I wanted to germinate some arugula seeds and get them into some dirt. Although this arugula was fine, it pales in comparison to the spicy yet freshly sweet stuff we harvested from last year’s victory garden before the rising temperature cooked the bitterness into it. The pear was wonderfully ripe and sweet with that beloved grainy texture; with it being so out of season I can’t tell if my taste buds were being nostalgic. Of course my favorite was the cheese; it had the creaminess of gorgonzola with the tangier bite of danish blue.