Monday, January 5, 2009

What I Need is Miso Soup

After a straight month of eating meat and sugar and butter and cream at nearly every meal, in large quantities, THIS is what I have been craving daily.
I made a lovely bowl last week that I was so excited to show you, but honestly, as soon as it was done I had to consume it immediately. So I have replicated it here. There is something so clean and comforting about Miso Soup.

So here is the rough recipe, always different based on what I have on hand, for Miso Love Soup. It is in no way meant to be authentic Japanese or officially macrobiotic, just what I learned from my mom.
  • Carrots, onions, sea vegetable
  • Kale, chopped
  • 4 oz. firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • Water in a saucepan 4-6 c.
  • White (or red or whatever) Miso paste, 2-3 tablespoons
  • A shake each of sesame oil and brown rice vinegar
  • Garnish of freshly chopped scallions and slivers of radish
  • Sometimes I add some leftover brown rice or udon noodles if I am serving this for dinner.
First, get your pot of water on the stove. Miso is better prepared fresh, so don't go for quantity here. While this is coming to a boil, chop up your carrots and onions, and reconstitute your seaweed. When the water boils, add the carrots and onions, and boil them until they are just tender. Meanwhile, chop that kale up, and get your garnishes in order. Turn off the soup and remove it to a cool burner when the veggies are done. Remove a half cup of the hot soup water and blend your miso paste into it, making a thick-ish and smooth mixture. (Miso loses its healthy properties if boiled, so that's why you turn your heat off first, and also bear this in mind if reheating on the stovetop.) Add the miso mixture back into the soup and gently stir. Throw in the kale, and mix so it cooks, and the tofu. Shake in your sesame oil and brown rice vinegar. Serve in bowls, with lovely garnishes for beauty.


  1. Oh, yum! I totally agree that something fresh and simple yet tasty is just what the body craves after a busy, bountiful holiday time. Thanks for the recipe. As we love all these fresh veggies, I just might have to give this a try.


    P.S., And I've taken your recommendation and picked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog for my reading pleasure. Can't wait! Of course, there's a 50 book personal challenge I'm doing this year, too, selections from a number of book lists. Will have to jump on that after I finish Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler. So many books (and sewing)! Grant me the time to focus!

  2. Oh yum! That looks like the most delicious detox I can imagine.

  3. Nigella Lawson is a great fan of miso soup as a way to redress the christmas scales. Yours looks, as the cliche goes, good enough to eat!

  4. Came across your blog yesterday and saw the miso--just got back from the store--forgot the kale. Am gonna try it anyway. Can't wait! I enjoyed your blog's so lovely.

  5. OOOh, that is one GORGEOUS bowl of soup!!! (I get excited by these things!)


  6. I made it tonight for supper! It was really good. Now seeing your photo again I realize yours is simply a work of art! Thanks for sharing this, you are so very talented! --Lili

  7. Aw shucks, Lili!
    Glad you enjoyed yours. It's so fun because there is endless possibility and potential to experiment!