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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Simple Comfort Soup

My precious hubby often prepares a soup that is his comfort food. It's what he cooks when he needs to relax or de-stress after a challenging day. It's a quick and easy soup with a few simple ingredients. It's not to my taste because I'm not crazy about some of the ingredients and because he likes it XXX spicy. I do love the aroma when he's cooking his soup, but I'm just too whimpy to eat it :)

I've discovered a comfort food soup of my own. I like to make a simple miso soup loaded with fresh ingredients. It's light but tasty and I think it's probably pretty healthy.

Boil 2 or 3 cups water. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons dashi miso paste (available at Asian supermarkets), depending on your taste. I like my soup pretty strongly flavored; however, I have to caution you that miso contains a lot of sodium.

Forgot to take the pic before I opened the dashi miso, but here's what you're looking for when shopping at your local Asian market:

Boil for a few seconds and then quickly add to that broth small portions of your selections of any of the following:

Diced tofu (medium or firm)
Mung bean sprouts
Chopped snowpeas
Sliced green onions or chives
Sliced mushrooms, whatever kind you like
Shredded cabbage
Sliced Thai bird chilis
Shredded carrot
Dried seaweed (available at Asian supermarkets), soaked and rinsed several times to remove the salt
Chopped water chestnuts
Quick-cooking Asian noodles such as rice noodles or bean thread noodles (available at Asian supermarkets)
Chopped cilantro
Chopped basil

Boil for just a few seconds until all ingredients are heated through, then immediately pour into a serving bowl, preferably a pretty Asian soup bowl which can be purchased affordably at your local Asian supermarket. Using a spoon (or an eyedropper if you're Food Network superstar material) sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of chili sesame oil over the surface of the soup for color and flavor. When serving the soup, use an Asian soup spoon and chopsticks if you have them. This recipe makes just 1 generous serving, so increase the amounts if you need to comfort more hungry diners than just yourself!

I'm sure there are plenty of ingredients that would be wonderful in this Japanese-style soup that I haven't thought of, so as with all of my recipes, feel free to customize, and please post comments if you have ideas to improve the recipe.

Miso is a fascinating ingredient. I've been reading about it on this website, which you might find informative:

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