Miso Soup 911 - When you feel like hell, this soup is heaven
I have not been feeling my usual 100% the last couple of days. No big deal, I just need some rest and some miso soup to make me feel better. A day on the couch in my jammies with a big bowl of nourishing, strengthening miso soup while catching up on Downtown Abbey should do the trick. Cheers!
Miso, fermented soybean paste, may not sound very glamorous or even appetizing but including it in your diet will make you a star. It strengthens and nourishes your intestinal tract and helps your immune system become strong. I know many people who start every morning with a big bowl of this soup. If you are feeling run-down and maybe nauseous, miso soup is what will help set you right. This is a strengthening and nourishing soup that I know will become one of your favorites. When you have eaten one too many “regrettable” foods/drinks, this is the soup to get you back into balance. The miso soup you order in restaurants, generally is not made with a quality miso paste packed with enzymes but , instead, a powder. It may taste good but won’t have all the benefits of a good miso. I have included below a recipe for miso soup and suggestions as to where you can buy a quality aged miso.
You can pick up good miso at many local grocery and health food stores. Try to find one that has been aged 2 years. I sometimes order from the Natural Import Company, out of North Carolina. (www.naturalimport.com) I like the Mitoku brand brown rice or barley miso.
Other good online sources of quality miso is Gold Mine Natural Foods (www.goldminenaturalfoods.com); South River Miso Company, www.southrivermiso.com and Kushi Institute (www.kushistore.com). You can often find South River Miso at your local health food store. I love their chickpea misos.
This recipe makes about 2 servings of miso soup
- 3 cups water
- 3 pieces (about one inch) wakame (a sea vegetable), soaked for about 3 minutes until tender and diced. You can instead use a pinch of ready to use wakame flakes. Right now I am using Emerald Cove brand.
- You can pick up sea vegetables at Whole Foods and other health food stores.
- Several slices of a few veggies such as carrot, mushroom, onion, daikon, winter squash, kale or cabbage. Other lovely things to add that may or may not be new to you: dried Shitake mushrooms, lotus root, and burdock root. Grated ginger is also very nice. You will come up with your own favorite combo. Just always use the two basic ingredients: miso, and wakame and vary the veggies.
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon of miso paste per cup of water. You don't want the soup to be salty (this will make you start craving sweets) so don't use more than 1 teaspoon per cup.
- Generally, I use the darker miso for this recipe. I like to use the white miso (which is lighter and only aged a few weeks or so) for dressings, sauces, spreads, and light, summer soups.
- 1 to 2 green onions (scallions) finely sliced or a tablespoon of chopped parsley for garnish.
- Optional: You can add leftover grain, or cooked noodles, or tofu cubes.
Bring the water and wakame to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. Add your veggies, cover the pot and simmer for about 3 minutes or until veggies are tender. Now remove some of the broth, add the miso and stir it until it is dissolved. Stir the miso mixture into the soup and simmer, uncovered for about 4 minutes. Once the miso is in, don’t let the soup boil.
DO NOT LET IT BOIL.
There are many beneficial enzymes in miso and they need the warmth to activate but boiling them will destroy those benefits. It will still taste good but, of course, you want all the enzymes too.
Garnish your soup and dig in!