Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy Miso

Barbecue season is upon us. We had our first barbecue last weekend, and then near the end of the week, the weather got chilly again and we immediately hid under a blanket of soup. So hopefully I'll write about my barbecue adventures next week if the temperatures behave.

This weekend, I'm peaking out from below the sand to share a very simple recipe using one of my new discoveries this past month -- miso. I've always loved ordering miso soup at restaurants, but I've never actually bought a tub of miso -- too intimidated by the intensity of the paste and the fear that I won't use it up (like what happened to my kimchi ...). Anyway, when I spotted this recipe for body nourishing wraps over at Good Things Grow, we broke down and bought some miso. The recipe included a carrot miso paste that totally blew me away. I've made this recipe many times since, and loved every bite.

Today, I'll leave you with a simple miso soup, sans seaweed but boosted with lots of ginger, shallots, scallions, tofu, baby spinach and mushrooms. We shared a bowl for a perfect mid-afternoon snack, but it would be totally awesome as a meal for one, and would be even awesomer and more substantial if you added some soba noodles, udon or vermicelli. Think of it as a base. Now go get some miso!

Happy Miso
makes one bowl perfect for sharing

1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of shallots, minced
1/2 teaspoon of ginger, minced
2 teaspoons of organic white miso paste (add more of less to taste)
2 cups of vegetable broth of water
4 small dried chinese mushrooms, rehydrated in water for about 30 minutes, then sliced
a small chunk of tofu (I used a silken, extra firm) cut into small cubes
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 small green scallion, chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a small pot, sweat the shallots and ginger in the olive oil over low heat, until things start to get soft and fragrant, but not brown -- about 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms.

2. Add the miso paste and a splash of the broth and mix until the miso has kind of combined with the liquid. Add the rest of the broth and stir well.  Let your soup simmer for about 5-7 minutes over low heat.

3. Add the tofu and spinach, mix well, and let it summer for another 5ish minutes.

4. Serve immediately and garnish with the scallion and a good grinding of black pepper.