Ginger Miso Soup
You make miso happy!
You take my broth away!
Because miso love you all so much, I’m giving you a big warming hug in the version of soup. Not just any soup, but a soup that’s been a favorite of mine for years: classic miso soup. Classic vegukate miso soup, that is. Created with fresh ginger, shiitake mushrooms, green onions, baby bok choy, dried seaweed, and tofu – this is a hearty and comforting soup that is excellent to nourish you head to toe on cold evenings.
If you’ve new to the miso world, you’re in for a treat. Miso soup is a brothy soup made from miso paste and seaweed and tastes reminiscent of the ocean. Seriously. Miso is a Japanese word that means ‘fermented beans.’ Those beans are almost always soybeans, but can also include the addition of barley, rice, or buckwheat to achieve certain flavors. To make miso paste, cooked soybeans are fermented with a magical little microorganism called the koji mold, or more formally known as Aspergillus oryzae. The miso is then left to time, ranging from months to years, to mature and develop deep flavors. Different fermentation processes (more time, more koji) change the miso’s flavorings and colorings (white, yellow, red, brown, etc.) creating a wide market of different miso products. Even cooler, longer fermentation times may also increase the antioxidant capacity in miso. Miso is a good source of phytonutrient antioxidants that function as anti-inflammatory free-radical butt kickers in the bod. Because it is a fermented food, miso is also a great source of digestive happy and nutrient assimilating probiotics that help to support intestinal microflora in your gut.
Despite the amazing health benefits, I shamelessly love this soup even more because it’s simple. I’m all for intricate recipes every now and then, but something (warm & yummy) that comes together in the matter of minutes is just pure bliss on some days. Honestly, you’ll only need about 20 minutes to get a big bowl of warm soup on the table. Beefing it up (if you will) with the addition of meaty mushrooms, vivid greens, and tofu create a substantial and filling meal that will leave your belly completely happy and satisfied.
Miso think you’re going to love this. Enjoy!
Ginger Miso Soup
6 cups of water, or vegetable broth
1 sheet nori, cut into small rectangles
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
4-6 tablespoons of miso paste
¼ cup green onion, chopped
3 baby bok choys, chopped into strips
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup firm tofu, cut into small cubes
Sea salt to taste
Bring water or vegetable broth to a simmer in a pot on the stove. Add in nori and simmer for about five minutes, until your broth mimics the smell of the ocean. (Seriously!)
In a separate small bowl, add ½ cup warm water and 4 tablespoons miso paste and stir until miso dissolves and water turns brothy. Don’t skip this step – You need to mix miso in a separate bowl to make sure you don’t have clumps of miso!
Add freshly grated ginger, green onion, bok choy, tofu, and shitakes to the main soup pot, cover, and let simmer 5-10 minutes or until greens have begun to wilt.
Remove pot from heat and stir in miso mixture. Give soup a good stir and taste to see if you need to add in more miso paste (as some miso is much stronger than others) or sea salt to taste. If so, mix miso paste into a separate bowl of warm water and add to soup.
Divide soup into bowls and devour!
Notes / You can find miso paste in the refrigerator section of most health food stores and all Asian markets. For this soup, try to find a white or yellow miso paste, which has a more buttery and delicate flavor. Also try to buy organic miso paste, as most soybeans are genetically modified.
For a heartier soup, add in cooked soba noodles, zucchini noodles, a soft-boiled egg, or even some sriracha, cilantro, and avocado for a spicy kick!