Friday, July 23, 2010

Miso Soup Recipe

Has it really been a year since I last posted? Time flies!
healthy soup
I have been very busy with a lot of things, including my French lesson blog. I still enjoy cooking, I've had less time to research foods, recipes and be creative in the kitchen.

But today I really had to post something...
It's summer here in San Francisco, i.e. cold, grey and gloomy, and we are wearing scarves and socks, and everybody seems to be sick around me, including myself... Oy!
Here's a recipe for a San Francisco summer, because we deserve comfort, warmth and a boost to our immune system: a mighty miso soup.

miso paste
Miso (a paste made of fermented soy) is warming and said to affect positively the immune system.

In our enhanced version of the classic miso soup we are also using turmeric, garlic and ginger, i.e. foods with anti-inflammatory properties, as well as kale, a superfood packed with lots of good things like vitamin C.
Feel free to add more veggies or substitute the tofu for rice noodles if you don't eat unfermented soy.

One more thing: apart from being healthy this is also REALLY easy, fast(ish) and delicious.

Power Packed Miso Soup
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 inches fresh ginger, sliced thin (I use a mandolin)
2 quarts water
4 leaves of kale, torn into in medium-size pieces (w/o the stem)
1/4 tsp turmeric
8 oz silken tofu, cut into cubes
4 scallions chopped fine
2 carrots, sliced thin (I use a mandolin)
2/3 brown-rice miso
1/2 cup of hot water to dissolve the miso

1. With the flat side of a knife, crush the garlic cloves. Heat the water with the crushed garlic and the sliced ginger. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile: slice the carrots and the scallions, cut the tofu and tear the kale leaves...
3. Remove the ginger and garlic from the broth and add kale leaves and turmeric. Cook at medium-high heat until tender (4 minutes depending on how you like it).
4. Add tofu, carrots and scallions and simmer for 2-3 minutes (you want carrots still a little crunchy but not quite raw).
6. Dissolve the miso paste 1/2 cup of hot water.
5. Turn the heat down. Pour the miso into the soup, stir, serve... voilà!

- My Sensei always told me it's important to not overheat/boil the miso because it would kill the good enzymes (as well as change the taste). So make sure to add the miso at the end, once the heat is turned off.
- If this is too salty for you, just add water.
- You can make it more copious by adding noodles, mushrooms, etc...

And if you are sick, and need your spirits lifted, Doctor says: stay home and watch Miyazaki's animes.
Castle in the sky:
Spirited Away :
Princess Mononoke, etc...

This recipe is freely adapted from Didi Emmons' Vegetarian Planet (a highly recommended cookbook!)
The soup photo comes from the raw food blog the Sunny Raw Kitchen.
Miso paste photo : Japan-i.

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