What’s for Dinner? Miso Soup

This is a daily million dollar question everyone faces (parent, or not). I hope to revisit this question with future blogs containing seasonally relevant recipe ideas for busy families like ours. Look for this series of blogs starting with the same question…”What’s for Dinner?”

Tonight I’m whipping up a quick and easy one-pot meal – Miso Soup. Not only is Miso Soup easy, but it is the best dish for when you are feeling chilled to the bone, have an upset tummy, or feel a cold or flu coming on.

Before we look at an amazing miso recipe, I have to introduce you to one of my favorite cooks: Heidi Swanson, who is the creator of 101Cookbooks.com as well as the author of several cookbooks. As far as I know, she only writes vegetarian recipes but always seems to give various options or ideas to change the ingredients or add some protein. Since my household is not vegetarian, I often easily add fish or poultry or even beef to her amazing recipes. I love the gorgeous pictures she includes in her cookbooks and online and with the online recipes, the comments are usually helpful when I have a question about a recipe.

Heidi’s Miso Soup

Ingredients

3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 – 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste) Miso Choice: experiment with a range of misos.
2 – 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run coldwater over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess waterand set aside.
In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil.Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hotwater into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste – so it thins out a bit(this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and thenadd more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, somemiso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salthere. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute orso.
Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pourthe miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro,and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.
Serves 2 – 3.

Notes:
I omit the tofu and substitute with chicken, which I bake in the oven and then shred before adding to the soup.
You can also add almost any vegetable (which Heidi talks about on her website). Tonight I’m adding bok choy, green onions, cilantro and crimini mushrooms. Yum!

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