This is a generic, brothy soup with sparse contents and can be consumed daily as an appetizer to promote good digestion. Various kind of root vegetables, greens and miso can be used, but the broth is always wakame-based, and the soup should be garnished with chopped scallions to achieve a balanced result. It is especially tasty and balanced if, within one soup, you can use greens belonging to the same root vegetable, i.e. red radish and the radish greens, carrots and its greens, or 'Hakurei' turnips and the turnip's leafy tops. Although additional ingredients can be used (say, 1 small, thinly sliced shiitake mushroom per person, or a few small chunks of tofu per person), this soup should mainly consist of miso broth, so don't fill it too chock-full with solid ingredients.
The kind of miso used would ideally vary by season. In summer, for example, we might use 2/3 sweet white or brown rice miso, and 1/3 barley miso. But in winter, ideally use 2/3 barley miso and 1/3 brown rice miso. Barley miso has a more warming effect, brown rice miso is less warming, and sweet white miso the least warming.
To make this dish gluten-free, avoid using barley miso, and use only sweet white or brown rice miso, perhaps increasing the amounts slightly to taste (but, it should not taste very salty--if so, you got too much miso).
This macrobiotic miso soup is like a traditional miso soup, but does not use bonito flakes to season the broth (due to the "nervous" type of energy imparted to a dish by bonito flakes).
The soup can help you sweat out a cold and/or fever; just eat this soup hot and then go directly to bed rest, covering yourself well.
This is loosely based on Susan Waxman's generic miso soup recipe posted here , as adapted by Pat Palmer.
All vegetable ingredients should be organically grown if at all possible.
It is okay to prepare this soup a day or so ahead, but when reheating, remember not to boil the soup lest the healthy ingredients in the miso be harmed. Just heat to a simmer and remove from the burner, and garnish warmed soup with fresh scallions as always. (Recipe #868)
- Soak the dried wakame in water for a couple of minutes, or until soft enough to spread and cut. Discard soaking water. Cut into small, even pieces.
- Measure the water into a stainless steel pot. Place the wakame in the pot with the cold water before turning on the flame.
- Bring water and wakame to a boil, then add the root or round vegetable slices, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, measure the miso into a bowl. Ladle a little of the stock to dilute the miso; try to achieve a thin liquid that will easily dissolve when added to the pot. If the miso has solid chunks in it, crush the chunks in a suribachi or run the miso through a wire sieve (mush with a spoon).
- Add the leafy greens to the pot, then the diluted miso to the boiling water.
- Once the miso has been added, turn the flame on very low and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes without allowing the miso-flavored broth to boil.
- Place a 1-cup serving of soup into a small bowl and garnish with finely chopped scallions right before serving.