This miso soup tastes like the sea, in a good way. It just feels so powerfully healthy and revitalising. I’m pretty new to eating sea vegetables (you can get them in health food shops or on-line, and a little goes a long way). They’re wonderful! Seaweeds are so good for you. Iodine is essential for a healthy thyroid, and has all sorts of other health benefits. Miso is one of those amazing foods that truly feels like food, if that makes sense, it just tastes so good for you, it has so much substance. You don’t even need to think about any health benefits when you’re eating, it can get gruesome, can’t it, let’s face it, just feel how healthy it is, how good it makes you feel, how good it tastes; you can’t miss it.
The miso I eat is made from fermented rice and soya. I don’t eat rice as it affects my joints, and I don’t eat soya as it’s bad for my hormone balance, and also for me as a coeliac (celiac), but fermented it’s great, and that is the power of fermentation; it makes foods easy on your body and powerfully nutritious too.
References to a miso-like substance, doujiang (bean jiang, or bean paste), in China, date back as early as the 1st century BC, making it the oldest condiment known to man. It is likely to have appeared in Japan, termed miso, in the 6th century AD. During the T’ang dynasty in China (AD618 – AD906), it was known as ‘the ruler of foods’.
Many other variations exist, for example, Korea has a fermented soya bean paste called doenjang. And there are so many local variations, in fermentation time, ingredients and flavour. As a westerner (or as me), I only see a few variations, but there must be so many. Such an ancient art of fermentation, there must be such depth and breadth of knowledge. We are so lucky to live in a world where we can access foods like miso with ease, even in their most mass-produced form. It is a wonderful healing food, and an excellent part of anyone’s diet.
I love broth soups, they’re rehydrating, light and interesting to eat, with all those different bits to fish out with your chopsticks. You can make loads and it only improves in flavour the next day. That’s my type of food. This soup is fully versatile. Follow this recipe, or substitute some of the veg with what you have, or what you like. If you need something more filling you could add buckwheat noodles, or aduki beans. Black beans would go well too. I really enjoyed the kohl rabi, it has such bite and a peppery flavour I enjoy. Pop in some green beans, green leaves, or some fresh peas, sweet and crunchy, and always a pleasure to pod (in moderation…). I liked keeping this miso soup simple, with just onion, kohl rabi, courgette (the yellow courgette added a needed burst of colour) mushroom and sea vegetable; a simpler mix of vegetables retains a purity of flavour that feels right ♥
- 1/4 medium saucepan filtered water (vegetable water if you have some)
- 3 spring onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 2 tbsp brown miso paste (barley free)
- 1/2 tbsp bouillon powder
- 2 heaped tbsp sea vegetables
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- pinch of coconut sugar
- 1/2 kohl rabi
- 1 courgette (green or yellow)
- 2 large field mushrooms (or more smaller varieties)
- 2 tbsp mild coconut oil, or light oil of choice
Heat the oil in the frying pan to a medium heat, wash and slice mushroom into slabs, lay in the pan and gently fry, turning them until brown on both sides. Whilst the mushrooms are cooking, add all the other ingredients apart from the miso into a medium-sized saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat. Cook soup for five minutes or so, add miso just before serving, stirring through, and garnish with the mushroom-
Always add miso just before serving to get the maximum nutrition and health benefits.
Sea vegetables are very salty, so if you want it less so, don't add the extra salt.
You can use other seaweeds, but if they're not very salty, add more salt.
Alternatively you can add tamari instead of salt.