(Speedy) Miso Soup
I love, love, love miso soup; I’m pretty sure the saltiness has something to do with it (I have an unhealthy draw towards sodium-rich foods), but miso has always been a flavor that tastes really good to me. Back in my real vegetarian days – I eat seafood now – one of the foods I missed the most was actually this soup (also pepperoni*); I would happily chow down vegetarian sushi rolls while glancing longingly at this soup. I easily admitted that it was a great homecoming for me and my miso soup once I turned pescatarian.
That being said, I never really mastered making miso soup at home, until now. Everything I attempted to make was either super bland or tasted only of salt; I also made a bunch of really fussy recipes, something I’m happy to do occasionally, but not as a go-to recipe. As it turns out, all I needed was a magic, non-vegetarian ingredient: dashi. It seems that the fish soup stock was the star ingredient I was missing (thanks for the heads up on that, Dad!). By using just 5 ingredients – water, dashi, miso, tofu, and scallions – I’ve happily achieved my homemade miso soup nirvana.
* still haven’t eaten any pepperoni… but when I do, I fully expect it to be as great as it is in my memories
While these ingredients admittedly aren’t everyone’s pantry staples, I find that the miso and dashi last a long time. I always have tofu in my fridge, and the scallions add a nice bright punch but the soup can survive without it.
A quick note on the tofu: as a nearly-professional tofu eater, I strongly recommend only buying extra firm tofu that comes vacuum sealed – it’s much firmer than the tofu that comes in water, and I never bother to let it drain, I just use it right away. Both for flavor and texture, it’s my favorite.
(Speedy) Miso Soup
4 cups water
3/4 teaspoon dashi
1/4 firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup white miso (note: if you don’t have the same passion for miso as some of us do, you may want to start with 1-2 tablespoons less, adding more to taste)
1 scallion, sliced thinly
In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Add dashi and stir until dissolved. Add tofu, and lower heat to simmer.
Place miso in a separate bowl and add about 1/2 cup of the dashi broth. Stir to dissolve miso, then pour back into the pot on the stove and stir to combine. Be careful not to boil the miso, or it will get gritty.
Taste, and if you prefer, add more miso paste. Ladle into individual bowls, top with scallions, and enjoy!
January 17, 2016
Posted in quick and easy, soup, vegetarian