Back at it with the miso project, I figure the best place to start is at the beginning: the basics. A simple miso broth is the classic essential in eating nourishing-miso and learning how to cook with it. Don’t be afraid. Incorporating fermented food into your home-cooking and family’s diet will be like salt-and-pepper on the table at a restaurant, a staple that comes with ease.
Growing up I ate miso soup for breakfast every morning. It wasn’t simply this broth, it usually had various types of vegetables or even grain in it. I will get into making different varieties of miso soups and stews (especially as we get into the fall and winter months), but for now a very easy, very versatile miso broth will be the foundation for all the future fun to be had. Authentic miso includes making a dashi (translation: kombu sea-vegetable stock) as well, so not only do you get the benefits of fermented miso, you get the bio-available minerals of see-greens too. Wakame is an essential ingredient in traditional macrobiotic cuisine. The dashi is a delicious umami stock that is mineral rich. Dashi is often used in traditional ramen noodle-bowls too. Momofuku style! In our house, miso broth with fresh ginger is the equivalent of chicken-noodle-soup. It is healing and nourishing and the best food to boost your immune system when you aren’t feeling well.
If you like, add root vegetables or seasonal vegetables too. Miso soup is great with squash, carrots and cauliflower. I used a light millet miso here and garnished with chives. Feel free to use whatever kind miso you like (or have in your fridge). You can also garnish with cilantro, ginger or watercress and feel free to drop in chopped leafy green vegetables (such as kale) right before serving!
- 3 inch dried piece or wakame sea vegetable (optional)
- 1 small onion
- 4 c. water + 1/4 c.
- 2 T miso (I used millet miso here.)
Place wakame, sliced onions and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes or until the wakame is tender. I often like to leave it whole and rip off pieces to eat in the soup, but allowing all the minerals to cook into the broth. (You can rinse the wakame and slice it into small pieces before putting it in the pot if you want). Put the miso in a separate bowl or suribachi with the additional 1/4 c water and mix so the miso is fully dissolved. (You can also use some of the warm dashi broth from the pot to mix the miso). Add the miso purée to the pot. Lightly simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add greens if you like at the end. Garnish with chives, green onions, parsley, cilantro, watercress or ginger.