Miso Vegetable Soup

This is the simplest soup ever. Add whatever vegetables you have knocking around, I find carrots, spinach and mushrooms work well. The only essentials are seaweed and the spring onion. I like to have this for breakfast with a fruit salad, or if I’m feeling particularly virtuous for supper with steamed brown rice, furikake and a tamagoyaki omelette.  Although it’s not strictly authentic, I find a drop of rice vinegar adds the most delicious tang to to the salty broth. The miso paste and dashi can be bought online or from Chinese and Japanese food shops and once you have them they last for ages so it’s well worth investing in decent quality miso, i.e. with a minimum of ingredients. The one in my fridge only contains rice, salt and soyabeans.

1 carrot, sliced
a handful of wakame seaweed
1 tsp dashi powder
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
a handful of spinach
a handful of beansprouts
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 block of soft cotton tofu, cubed
1 pint of water
2 spring onions, finely chopped

Place the water in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in the dashi powder and heat gently, bringing to just before the boil.
In a small mug, mix the miso paste with a little of the water from the saucepan and stir vigorously until dissolved.
Add the miso paste to the pan and stir. Add the vegetables, tofu and the seaweed.
Heat gently for 5 minutes. Add the rice vinegar, sprinkle over the spring onion and serve immediately.

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