Monday, October 6, 2008

The Comfort of Miso Soup

Miso Soup Surface Bowls

There's something so comforting about a bowl of hot miso soup. It warms you up so deliciously the instant it touches your lips. It soothes your tummy when it aches. It clears your sinuses when you have a cold. It brightens the gloomiest rainy day... Miso may well be a cure-all in a bowl.

My kids are big soup fans. Even when we lived in sunny California, they would get excited when soup was on the menu. I use to make a lot of cream of vegetable soups back then, minus the cream. Nowadays, my repertoire has a wider range. I have been playing around with my own recipe for a hearty miso soup. I love ending my day with such a comforting meal. This one has it all: a little vegetable, a little tofu, a little rice pasta and a creamy salty broth that is flavored just right.

Miso Soup Top View

The key to getting a soup from just warm liquid to "wow" is creating a compilation of harmonious flavors. I started with a low-sodium clear vegetable broth, then added fresh ginger, cilantro, lime slices and green onions. This was only the beginning as this flavorful canvas still needed some added pizzazz to become the perfect soup. Flavorful vegetables, tender tofu, slippery pasta, rich miso and fragrant toasted sesame oil were then added in to help make this a meal to remember.

I'm sending this miso soup to Lisa over at Food and Spice who's hosting this month's No Croutons Required event. This steamy bowl is perfect for her event and fits the bill as a hearty bowl of soup.

Tofu Vegetable Soup with Miso (serves 6)

Miso Soup Ingredients

12 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 slices lime
1 1" piece ginger, peeled
12 springs fresh cilantro
1/3 cup sliced green onions (about 2-3)
2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup sliced carrots (about 4 medium size)
1/4 cup mild red pimiento, sliced into rings (optional)
14 oz firm organic tofu, diced small
1/2 cup mellow white miso
4oz of thai rice pasta sticks
1 tsp of GF soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine (for garnish)

Bring broth, ginger, cilantro, green onions to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Add broccoli, carrots, pimiento, tofu and bring back to a boil, cover and then simmer again for 5 minutes. Add the miso and mix well to combine. Bring back to a simmer and add the pasta, stir, cover and turn the heat off. Leave alone for 10 minutes or until pasta is soft. Finish with the soy sauce, sesame oil and cilantro garnish.

All gone...
Empty Soup Bowls

Here's another soup recipe for you drink up...
Black Lentil Soup with Kale and Turnip Chips


Steffi said...

As a kid I hated soup, but now I can´t get enough of it! This recipe sounds delicious, especially since it features tofu... soups and tofu mix so very well. Perfect for autumn.
And I just tried baking your libanese walnut cookies... they were very, very tasty, although not as perfect looking as yours ;-) I made a photo of my not-as-round-version!

VeggieGirl said...

Comforting, indeed!!

Erik said...

Miso soup is such an artistry in itself. The tradition is that all of the ingredients must contrast in as many ways as possible: taste, color, shape, texture, buoyancy...and then to top it off, it's all supposed to be in season. Anyway, for money it's good soup if it tastes good, and yours sure looks good.
And I love the bowls!

maybelle's mom said...

oh the pictures are lovely. And I totally agree about miso. for a while, my daughter was eating it for breakfast.

Elra said...

I can eat this soup bowls and bowls by myself, see how greedy I can be?

Alexa said...

I am so glad to hear you loved the cookies.
As a child, I wasn't too crazy about soups either but I am sure glad my kids take after their father ;-)

Thanks for your comment :-)

I enjoyed your comment and insight on miso soup. Thanks so much! My husband brought the bowls back from a recent business trip to Asia. I am putting them to got use. :-)

Maybelle's mom,
It makes such a great breakfast. My husband has it sometimes to start out his day as he likes savory meals better.

That's a type of healthy greed I can understand!

RecipeGirl said...

You've definitely jazzed up the typical miso soup with some nice veggie additions. Looks great (and comforting) to me!

rachel said...

My husband thanks you in advance! He's always requesting homemade miso soup. Now I've found a recipe-he will be most pleased.

Any Little Reason said...

Miso soup was the only thing that could get me through a hangover in college - a cure-all, indeed. This looks delicious!

Usha said...

This looks delicious,perfect comfort food :)

Alexa said...

As soon as it becomes rainy here, I live on this type of soup... comfort food.

Your husband is welcome in advance ;-) I hope your whole family enjoys it.

Any little reason,
ha ha... I'll keep this in mind when my kids go off to college... thankfully I have a while to go on this one. I am glad you liked the post.


Andrea said...

I love the look of the whole veggies in this soup! It looks so, well, nourishing! And of course, delicious.

Mary Ann said...

I want to make everything I see on your blog! Seriously, it all look so good and is always something that I have been wanting to try. I totally get the Pirates reference! This looks delicious!

Juliet said...

Wow. That is the most beautiful miso soup I've ever seen. Looks delicious!

Dana Treat said...

This is the kind of soup I crave almost constantly. I can't get enough of rice noodles! I have a miso tip... Put the miso in a small bowl and add 1/2 - 1 cup of the broth and stir really well. Then pour the contents of the bowl back into the soup. This will prevent the miso from clumping up when it hits the hot broth. Also, to enjoy the full health benefits of the miso, don't let it sit for too long before you eat it. The beneficial live cultures die soon after hitting the heat. Thanks for a delicious looking recipe!

Alexa said...

Andrea, Mary Ann and Juliet,
Thank you so much for kind comments.

Great insight! Thank you for the great tip on how to mix the miso in and preserve its potency. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your comment. :-)

CECIL said...

Loveee miso soup! And what a fun idea to take photos of the empty bowls!! You are just brilliant.

bee said...

i have a jar of white miso in the fridge. this would be perfect thank you for the recipe.

Tartelette said...

I have been on a Asain soup making kick lately and I was just ondering what to do with my miso!! Thanks for this!

Lisa said...

Thanks for this hearty entry! I adore miso soup.

JuJu and Family said...

Hi there, I'm the only one who doesn't eat meat, though I do eat fish and eggs. I've been looking for meals to make all of us happy and this may be the one. I'll have to try it out. We all love rice noodles, so we'll give it a try. Thanks and take care

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