Simple Miso Broth
Miso is a nutritious, high-protein product fermented from soybeans and salt (or a combination of soybeans, grains, and salt). Available at all natural food stores and Asian groceries (as is the sea vegetable kombu), pungent-tasting miso is most commonly used to make simple broths. Here is a basic recipe, which really should be considered a soup in itself rather than as a stock for making other soups. Note that once the miso is stirred into water, it should not be boiled. Otherwise, its beneficial enzymes will be destroyed.
Recipe CourseHot Appetizer
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Low Carb, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and TextureSalty, Savory, Umami
Type of DishHot Soup, Stock
- 1 recipe Basic Vegetable Stock (see below), or one 32-ounce carton low-sodium vegetable broth plus 2 cups water
- 2 strips kombu, each about 3 by 5 inches
- 2 to 4 tablespoons miso, any variety, to taste
- 7 cups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 large celery stalks, sliced
- 1 medium potato, scrubbed and diced
- 1 cup coarsely shredded green cabbage
- 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (see notes)
For the Vegetable Stock: Place all the ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are quite tender. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids or puree them and add to soup for a thicker consistency.
Combine the stock and kombu in a 2-quart saucepan or small soup pot. Bring to a simmer.
Dissolve the desired amount of miso in just enough warm water to make it pourable. Stir into the broth and remove from the heat. Let stand for 30 minutes or serve at once, removing and discarding the kombu just before serving.
Embellish miso broth with any of the following:
- Diced tofu
- Cooked Asian noodles
- Finely chopped scallions
- Grated fresh daikon radish or white turnip
- Crisp cucumber, seeded and grated
Salt Free Seasoning: The savory blend of many different herbs and spices eliminates the need for excessive salting. This is an all-purpose way to add a complex flavor to soups. There are several good brands available in supermarkets and natural food stores. My favorites from the supermarket are salt-free Mrs. Dash Table Blend and McCormick Seasonings, which offers a few different all-purpose blends. From the natural food store, the aptly named Spike is a great product, as is Frontier All-Purpose Seasoning. There are other good brands; experiment with them and make good use of whichever you prefer.
2009 Nava Atlas