Quick Fix Miso
Apr.26.11 § 1 Comment
Miso soup is a standby meal for me. It’s the mother’s weeknight Kraft macaroni-and-cheese to my busier than hell, single girl who cares about her health lifestyle. It’s something I can count on when I get home from working all day and have a night full of some sort of writing ahead of me. And, where’s dinner? Oh, that’s right, the fridge is empty because I forgot to go grocery shopping this weekend.
Luckily, dinner is in the freezer, well most of it. But the key ingredient is actually in the fridge, likely in the back or in the door with the condiments. It may have been sitting there a long while, but that’s okay. It can sit there for an entire year. I’m talking about miso! I read an NPR story recently about how versatile miso is. Yes, it works in glazes, dressings, butters, but in my opinion it’s best for its intended use. Yep, you guessed it, soup!
This isn’t your average miso soup. This is much heartier, and it’s way healthier than the take-out version. However, if you’ve ever made miso at home and felt like something was just missing, take note of the optional ingredients below. After years of making sub par miso and trying several remedies, I discovered the unmistakable goodness imparted by Nutritional Yeast and tamari was the key to getting a really umami-packed miso. The runny yolk of a poached egg helps, too. My miso soup is made with Magic Mineral Broth, so it already has a lot of healthy properties. If you don’t have any handy, just use water, or whatever kind of broth you do have. To that base, I’m adding the healing properties of shitake and maitake mushrooms, along with all the vitamins of miso and green vegetables, and protein from the eggs.
If your freezer is well stocked, something I intend to educate you about at a later date, this should easily come together. The soup is also highly customizable. Use whatever veggies you want, choose your favorite grain, choose your favorite protein, or if you’re like me, use whatever you have on hand. I usually use mung bean noodles, but it wasn’t in the cards for me this time. Instead I had some Quinoa ready to go. This recipe is also a great way to use up some fresh veggies that would otherwise go to waste.
Quick Fix Miso Soup
Yields 2 servings
1/2 qt vegetable broth
1/2 qt water
1/4 cup dried mushrooms (I used a mix of shitake and maitake)
1/2 cup prepared Quinoa
2 tsps Nutritional Yeast flakes (optional)
2 tsps tamari (optional)
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 tablespoons white miso paste (or whatever kind you prefer)
You can make the Quinoa in advance and keep it in the fridge, or use mung bean noodles which cook quite quickly by steeping in hot water.
Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil in either a kettle or sauce pan. Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cover and let steep for about a half hour or while you are preparing the rest of the soup.
Bring the remaining water and the vegetable broth to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Add the frozen veggies and return the pot to a simmer. Once the pot is simmering, remove about 1/4 cup of the liquid and set aside. Then drop in the eggs and continue to simmer for about three minutes until eggs are poached or cooked to your liking. Turn off the heat.
Remove the mushrooms from the soaking water. Pour the soaking liquid into the soup through either a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Rinse the reconstituted mushrooms. Slice them and add them into the soup. Take the 1/4 cup broth you reserved from the soup, whisk it with the miso paste, and return that to the soup.
Divide the Quinoa into two bowls. Put one teaspoon each of Nutritional Yeast and tamari in each bowl. Ladle out the soup, serving one egg to each person. If you’re cooking for one, eat both the eggs but save the remaining soup for lunch (poached eggs don’t keep very well.) Enjoy!