14 May Spring Miso Noodle Soup
After a weekend of indulging in Mother’s Day cake it’s time for something healing and cleansing like this miso noodle soup. There is so much goodness to a healthy healing broth and especially if combined with beautiful and vibrant green vegetables like this one. Isn’t it funny that our cravings are always changing depending on what we have been eating previously? Well, to be honest I love sweet and salty things mixed together and I always like to end a meal on a salty note even though traditionally meals are ended with dessert. For me something salty and as in this case something brothy is even better.
There are probably plenty of miso soup recipes out there on the internet and you probably don’t need any instructions but let me suggest that you change things up as I did here. More than anything I want to encourage you to use it more often and don’t feel like you are going to insult the holy grail of Japanese cooking when you don’t use it as a a Japanese grandma. It can feel intimidating combining it with other styles of cooking but once I did, I didn’t look back.
Miso is fermented goodness
Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. Miso is used to make the traditional base of its entire cuisine “dashi” in combination with kombu. It has that distinct flavour commonly described as “Umami”. It comes in many forms but uses soya beans as its base in combination with grains like rice and barley and koji. What I love about miso is its versatility and how it infuses everything with umami goodness. The healing benefits have been praised for a long time and what I have noticed personally is the calming and grounding effects it has on my well-being. The only important thing to remember when using it is to not boil it. I usually add it to soups at the end mixed in with some of the soup and then added in at the end. Otherwise I like using it in spreads and as an important ingredient in vegan cheese.
This soup is simple and comes together in about 30 minutes. The noodles can be boiled in advance and the soup comes together quickly once all the vegetables are prepped. I added a combination of sprouts this time but you can use any herb you like. For a different twist the broth can be used as a base for many different kinds of ingredients and you can change it seasonally using squash in the fall or tomatoes in the summer. Adding coconut milk gives it added sweetness and a slightly exotic touch but you can leave it out if you wish.
Spring Miso Noodle Soup
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp ginger, ground
1 Tbsp turmeric, freshly ground or 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thin slices
500 g or a bunch of green asparagus, ends peeled and cut into small pieces
250 g broad beans or green beans
1 red pepper, cored and sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 package (250) of rice noodles or rice vermicelli, cooked and rinsed in cold water
Toppings and to finish:
3 Tbsp miso
sprouts, to garnish
green onions, finely chopped
fresh red chili, finely chopped if you like it hot or Sriracha
- Prepare the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package and set aside.
- Heat a large pot and add the coconut oil, then add the ginger, turmeric and garlic.
- Add the sliced and prepped vegetables, leaving the ends of the asparagus for the last few minutes.
- Add 1 liter of water or more depending on how much broth you like.
- Bring it to a gentle simmer and add sea salt and continue cooking the soup for about 10 minutes, then add the asparagus tips. Add the coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat source taking a ladle full of soup into a separate bowl. Stir in the miso paste then add it back to the soup.
- Serve the miso soup immediately starting with a serving of soup, then add the noodles, sprouts and green onions. Garnish with a little chili if you wish and a little shoyu or tamari.