“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.”
― Abraham Maslow
“The lore has not died out of the world, and you will still find people who believe that soup will cure any hurt or illness and is no bad thing to have for the funeral either.”
― John Steinbeck, East of Eden
I look forward to the first break in the late summer heat, when the stagnant evenings are replaced by cooler breezes– a true sign of the season’s change and Autumn’s arrival. This event is celebrated enthusiastically with my fervent return to soup making.
–Simple things are beautiful–like soup.
I keep a vegetable stock at home as a good foundation on which you can build amazing soups. The following is a quick recipe that is totally dependent on seasonal ingredients and what may be fresh and available in your location.
Miso Veggie Soup
White enoki mushrooms- a handful or more
2 small bok choy- quartered
3 T Yamabuki Tezukuri Miso
2 sliced carrots
2” piece of galangal sliced thinly (can be replaced with ginger)
1 T sambal oelek (chili paste)
1 T Dried edible chrysanthemum flowers (don’t use if allergic to ragweed)
1 Organic egg white (use silken Tofu for vegan)
1 lime quartered (for use when serving)
3-4 cups of homemade or organic vegetable stock
Side Dish: I like to serve with a side of quick-pickled cucumber. I add thinly sliced, washed but unpeeled cucumber to rice vinegar, lime, sea salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.
Add the sliced carrots, sliced galangal, quartered small bok choy, and chrysanthemum flowers to the organic vegetable stock. I like the citrusy flavor of galangal (but the spicy flavor of ginger would be a fine replacement). Chrysanthemum flowers are a traditional Chinese medicinal that are used to treat inflammation (similar to pineapple). I like it for its tangy taste and as a slight thickening agent.
Bring to an almost boil and cook until you develop the consistency you enjoy. For me, I like my veggies like my pasta–al dente (firm to the tooth). Pull off the heat and add the miso, egg white, and enoki mushrooms. Stir in the sambal oelek and serve with the lime. You can either leave the galangal pieces in (or eat around them)! Of note, always add the miso off the heat to help keep the benefits of the beneficial bacteria.
Short Overview of Miso
White Miso (Shiro Miso): Made from soybeans and rice, short fermentation (lighter in color) lowest in salt, and mild, sweet flavor.
Yellow Miso (Shinshu Miso): Made from soybeans and rice, longer fermentation than Shiro (why deeper color), slightly salty with and well-rounded flavor.
Red Miso (Aka Miso): Made from larger portion of soybeans and typically barley rice, longest fermentation (1+ years), concentrated/pungent flavor, saltiest, “umami flavor.
Nippon Menus 1900s
Nippon Menus 1900s