The winter season is upon us and the days and nights are chilly. This is what I call soup weather. Are you a comfort foodie or a soup person when the weather is frightful? I love a good soup and have shared a few of them over the past few years.
Today I am trying something new, Miso Soup. Miso is so good that it remains a popular accompaniment to most Japanese meals. There are also some very helpful benefits to consuming this soup. These include that it is packed full of nutrients, and it can help your digestive system stay healthy. It’s also known to improve heart and bone health. And who doesn’t nee that today?
Of course, after such high praise, you are probably wondering how to make your own, miso soup! Well, the good news is that you can find out how to craft this simple three-step soup from scratch (or with a few shortcuts) below.
The first stage in making miso soup is creating the dashi. Indeed, it is the dashi, a Japanese soup stock that you can easily whip up, that makes miso one of the most delicious homemade soups. By having your dashi ready-made you can create a good miso soup in as little as 10 minutes! Learn how to make this stock in the video below.
You will find that most dashis contain ingredients you may not be able to get in your local supermarket. However, you will be able to access them easily by using an Asian groceries delivery service. Here in Ottawa we are really lucky and have several Asian Grocery Stores close by, although ordering seems a safe bet lately. If making fresh seems overwhelming you may even want to go for some ready-made dashi stock or granules to make the processes even easier?
Once you have your dashi sorted it’s time to add the miso. Miso is a paste from Japan that is made from soybean that has been fermented. It comes in red, yellow and white varieties. Of course, you can make your own miso paste if you so choose, but there are plenty of ready-made pastes on the market to choose from.
Be sure to try them beforehand though as some can be quite salty and you won’t want to ruin your soup by adding too much! (Usually, around 15-20g per bowl of miso is the right amount).
Also, remember that miso soup should never be brought to the boil, as you will risk losing all the amazingly complex flavours.
The Trimmings for Miso Soup
The last stage in crafting your own miso soup is to add the extras or trimmings. The great thing about these is that you can start off with the same soup base, and create totally different meals by varying the ingredients that you add.
The critical thing here is being savvy about when you add your extras to the soup. With denser items needing to be boiled in the dashi, and less dense ingredients after the dashi has boiled.
For example, if you would like to add clams, daikon, or onion to the soup, do so before the dashi boils. However, for eggplant, mushrooms, or tofu, add after the dashi has boiled just before you include the miso paste. Of course, there is a wide selection of trimmings you can add. This is about creating your soup and your flavour.
How To Serve
Serve miso soup in 200ml bowls. Be sure to add garnishes that you want to remain crunchy only after adding the soup to the bowl. Chopped spring onions and herbs are a popular choice.