If you’re like me, Lefty, most Asian soups seem like the warm-up to the rest of a meal. Although beautiful in their presentation, simple in their use of ingredients and flavorful in ways that delight the palate, they usually seem light on those toothsome vegetables that make it a satisfying meal. This soup is made with large vegetables and the addition of Miso, a cultured paste made of soybeans. Miso adds an exotic level of flavor. It is added at the very end of cooking to preserve its nutritional and probiotic value.
We discovered this hearty recipe by Kelly Mulcair on Inspired Edibles. Memphis made it in her kitchen one afternoon and was on her way to share it with me when a flash flood had descended on our fair city. She called, stranded in a vehicle with a blown engine. I waded through mid-calf deep water to sit with Memphis in her car at the end of a nearby street. Once the rescue team arrived (her cool-headed husband) I returned home with a hefty container of soup.
Exhausted and shaking, I reheated the soup to just hot (do not boil) and was duly impressed with the amazing blend of flavors, loads of satisfying vegetables (and tofu!) I served my husband a big mug but he couldn’t finish.
This soup makes good use of your homemade broth stash, and especially ones that may be more on the spicy side due to ginger peels or hot peppers.
5 cups vegetable stock (we recommend homemade)
2 large onions diced
3 Garlic cloves minced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 red bell pepper diced
2 cups white or brown mushrooms sliced
1 tsp of garlic-chili paste*
1 cup shelled edamame beans
1 package of firm tofu, cubed
2 tsp oil
6 tbsp yellow miso paste
3 cups water
6 scallions, minced
Gather all the ingredients. Place a large stockpot over medium heat with 5 cups of water. Add onions, garlic, peppers and garlic-chili paste to pan and saute in a small amount of oil. After several minutes add sliced mushrooms. When onions are translucent, remove from heat and add to stockpot.
*If you don’t have garlic chili paste, you can substitute Harissa sauce or red pepper flakes. Increase garlic by one big clove.
Remove tofu from package and cut into 1/2 inch slabs. Press water out of tofu using two paper or cloth towels. Cut into cubes. Meanwhile, dissolve miso in one cup of water.
Add tofu, edamame and turn soup up to med-high and allow to boil. Reduce heat, add two cups of water, stirring to mix well. Add the miso broth and scallions and serve.