Classic Miso Soup with Variations
Sushi has a strong following in America, but Japan's most popular soup, Miso Soup, has gotten far less attention. And that's a shame because this simple, delicious and versatile soup has so much to offer.
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1/2 cup red miso, or more
- 6 ounces silken tofu, firm, 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 scallion, slivered
- 7-8 cups dashi* or soup stock of your choice
- 2 ounces kombu (kelp)
- 2 quarts spring water
- 2 ounces bonito shavings (fish flakes)
- coffee filter or cheesecloth
Don't wash kombu---the white dusting of sea salt is part of the seasoning. Put kombu and water in a medium saucepan and set heat to medium-low. Heat for about 10 minutes, just to the boiling point. Remove from heat and remove kombu. Add bonito and steep for 1 minute. Strain through coffee filter or 3 layers of cheesecloth. Makes about 7-8 cups.
Heat dashi or stock in a large pot. Add carrot and bring to a boil, cook until the carrot is tender. Ladle a bit of hot stock into a small bowl and mix well with miso. Stir miso into soup, take off the heat and add tofu. Serve with scallions on each serving.
Instead of making dashi, use 8 cups boxed chicken or vegetable stock, preferably low-sodium (the miso is salty enough).
- Simmer 8-12 ounces of diced chicken in the stock with the carrots, cook 4 ounces of egg noodles for a chicken noodle miso soup.
- Simmer 4 cups mixed vegetables in the stock until cooked, then proceed with miso for a miso vegetable soup.
- Simmer 16 large shrimp and a big red bell pepper, add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy shrimp miso soup.
Calories: 196, Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 9 mg, Sodium: 1349 mg, Carbohydrate: 17 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 19 g