Mushroom Miso Soup
It’s been one of those strange East Bay Area autumn days: overcast, yet warm. Well; warm-ish. One of those days when you sleep in and don’t know what time it is when you wake up. Is it 8am or 11am? The whole day felt very dreamy. I sat outside under the umbrella even though I only needed it for maybe 30 minutes. It was cloudy and then at times I could see the blue sky peaking through the fluffy white clouds. Then the sun would poke through suddenly and glare down in my face, and I wouldn’t be able to see the screen on my laptop. Twice I thought I heard a couple of drops of rain.
And because I did get up late, I gorged myself on vegan gingerbread-banana pancakes; which means that I don’t need a lot for dinner. I was hoping to write out the recipe for Nishime Vegetables & Udon, but I was just too full. So, maybe just a simple miso soup. Maybe mushroom miso soup…
Mushroom Miso Soup
4 cups shiitake broth (see below)
1/4 teaspoon wakame flakes
4-5 fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 oz oyster mushrooms
1 1/2 oz beech mushrooms (or another mushroom of your choice)
2-3 tablespoons white miso
1/2 tablespoon brown rice miso
Green onions for garnish
For the Shiitake Broth:
4 1/2 cups
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
Simmer the mushrooms in the water uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms and drop into a mason jar of water. Store, covered in the fridge for shiitake broth later.
For the rest of the soup:
After removing the dried shiitakes, add the wakame flakes and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove the stems and slice the fresh shiitakes. Chop the oyster mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. If you are using the beech mushrooms, carefully remove them from the large base; you want sort of fairy-like-sized mushrooms. Does make sense? Probably not, so here’s a picture:
Add your shiitakes and turn up the heat to medium. Cook the shiitakes for about 2-4 minutes, then add the other mushrooms. Cook for another 4 or so minutes.
Turn down the heat to a low simmer. Spoon your mix of miso pastes* into a small bowl. Ladle about one-half cup of soup into the bowl and stir. I like to use a miso strainer because I don’t like little pebbles of miso in my soup; but you don’t need one as long as you get your miso to completely dissolve in the hot liquid. Once this happens, add the miso mixture to the soup pot and stir once (you can also pour your mixture through a small sieve into the pot; this will pick up the small pieces of miso that don’t always dissolve).
Let the soup sit for a minute or two, then ladle into a bowl, garnish with the green onions and serve. I had my soup with some hot brown rice topped with some umeboshi furikake, and hot green tea. Divine!
*This may seem like a lot of miso, and depending on your tastes, it may be. If you are not used to cooking with miso, go slow and add only half of the miso mix at first. Taste, then add more if desired.