Sunday, May 29, 2011

Simple Miso Soup for the Soul and for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It's been a long week. A very long week. I took on a job coaching and mentoring current students through the school program I completed last year. Since I have 24 students, it means four days of back-to-back, 50-minute coaching calls once a month and this past week was our first round. Between the differing levels and expectations, and even some language challenges with International students, it was rewarding but exhausting and when my last call was over yesterday, I needed something simple and restorative to bring me back to life.

Chicken soup may be good for the soul but miso soup is equally as good, maybe better. Miso has an alkalizing effect on the body and helps to strengthen the immune system. It is high in antioxidants and full of protein, vitamins B12, B2, E and K and a good source of linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), and fiber. I made a simple, quick version--with a ginger and wakame seaweed laced broth and the vegetables I had on hand. Mushrooms and tofu helped make it a satisfying. light and healthy dinner.

Simple Miso Soup
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 2 large )

4 cups water
1 Tbsp low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (plus more if needed)
1 Tbsp ginger, finely minced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 /2 onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup dried wakame seaweed
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 block firm tofu, cubed
1/3 cup miso (white for a milder soup, red or barley for a heartier soup)
thinly sliced scallions, enoki mushrooms and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Place water, tamari, ginger, carrot, onion and wakame seaweed in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Allow to simmer about 5-6 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add shitake mushrooms and tofu and simmer an additional 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to very low.

In a small bowl, place miso and 1/2 cup of the soup liquid and mix until miso is dissolved and smooth. Add the miso liquid to the the saucepan and gently mix and warm through. (Do not boil or overheat or it will remove it's enzymes and healthy properties.) Taste and add additional tamari if needed. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with scallions, enoki mushrooms and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Simple and delicious-I could feel myself relax as I spooned up each bite and all became right with the world (well mostly right with the world, a hot bath, a good book, a piece of chocolate and a full night's sleep also helped sealed the deal). ;-) The broth had plenty of flavor from the ginger, seaweed and miso. You can of course use whatever vegetables you have on hand--I usually like to add some daikon but forgot to pick some up. Fast and easy to make, it reminded me that I need to enjoy miso soup more often.

There are a few good friends hanging out in the Souper Sunday kitchen on this busy Memorial Day weekend--let's take a look.

Fellow Hawaii blogger Spencer (The Mouse), of Live2EatEat2Live Blog made a thick stew of Balsamic Braised Mushrooms. He says, "I first deconstructed this dish when Portobello mushrooms and Balsamic vinegar were the rage (kind of tells you how long I’ve been making this). I tasted something similar at a restaurant (it was one of their signature dishes). This dish goes well with steak or chicken, on rice or with warm crusty bread. Drool. As a bonus, it’s totally vegetarian. I’ve even used the leftover sauce to dress pasta salad (it’s not pretty, but very tasty)."

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes has two salads in this week's round up. First up, this Asian Chicken Salad. Pam says, "What I bring you today is a salad that you can make in about the same time it takes to drive to a fast food restaurant. I used leftover rotisserie chicken, and even with cutting the carrots myself (you could use those already cut carrots), I had this ready in less then 20 minutes. ...I found this Asian Chicken Salad at Cooking Light... I didn’t change a thing, other then not using bottled ginger. I keep my ginger in the freezer and when a recipe calls for ginger, I get a chunk, still frozen, and grate it on my micro plane. Works like a dream. The ginger comes out really fine and disperses the flavor nicely through the recipe."

For her second salad, Pam made this refreshing Greek Salad and says, "Even though you really don’t need a recipe for Greek Salad, I found one in Everyday Food: Great Food Fastbecause I can always count on Martha for a good salad. We had this for dinner one night last week, and I realized that if I always kept these ingredients in the fridge (and I almost always do), I could easily have this salad on the table in 20 minutes, anytime I felt like it."

girlichef sent along her unique Nopalitos Salad (Cactus Paddle Salad) to share and says, "While we most often make a simple Cactus Paddle salad using cooked nopalitos, diced tomatoes and onion, and crumbled queso fresco with a bit of cilantro mixed in...this version is quickly becoming a close runner-up. The creamy goat cheese just sort of melts into each bite...and the slick cilantro dressing is a nice compliment to the crunch of the onion and the tomato. No matter which version you try, I hope you'll add Cactus to your list of addicting veggies (if it's not there already)."

I couldn't resist adding my take on Jamie Oliver's Wild Rice Salad to the round up this week. With adding can of lentils and some pine nuts, it turned out to be a tasty and satisfying lunch salad that I have been enjoying all week. The lemony dressing, combined with the sweet roasted red pepper and kick from a red chile make it much more interesting than a typical rice salad. Definitely one to make again.

My friend and fellow Cook the Books host, Rachel, The Crispy Cook made two sandwiches this week, a Rachel and a Ruben with a twist. About her namesake, the Rachel, she says, "The Rachel sandwich is a twist on the traditional Reuben, that cardiologist's nightmare: grilled sliced corned beef and Swiss cheese, laced with sauerkraut and Russian dressing. The Rachel subs in pastrami and cole slaw, but is no less awesome. Served up with a garlicky dill pickle, and you're talking awesome eating!"

And her Rueben is a special wheat-free / meat-free tofu version for her hubby. Rachel says, "To assemble your Tofu Reuben, generously spread some Russian Dressing on the inside of your bread (classic rye bread is out for celiacs, so we used one of Dan's chewy gluten-free rolls), top with a mound of Corned Tofu slices, a mound of braised sauerkraut and a couple of slices of Swiss Cheese. You can then grill or microwave up your Reuben to ensure that the cheese melts, and then hoist into your mouth for an amazing, messy taste treat."

Some wonderful dishes to enjoy this week--mahalo to all who joined in. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sunday logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend and a great week!


  1. Have been missing blog posts for the past few weeks. round up looks delectable!

  2. yummy! hope next week isn't as crazy for you.

  3. Mmmm, I need to enjoy Miso soup more often, too. I love the little enoki floating in pretty. Miso is on my next shopping list!! Hope your coming week is a little less crazy =)Thanks for the tasty roundup.

  4. I think I'll have to make some miso soup AND cactus salad this coming week. I've never tried those nopalitos, but I see them on the store shelves, so I'll have to check on Girlichef's awesome recipe. Another great roundup, Deb!

  5. Great roundup! I am going to email next week's in. I promise. Maybe.

  6. That miso soup definitely looks restoring! Love the little ginger kick to it.

  7. I don't usually go for miso soup but this looks really tempting. I like all the salads that have been entered this week too.

  8. I love how chock full of vitamins miso is! Definitely a SUPER food! I'm sure this soup rejuvenated you! Delicious!

  9. Miso soup is my favorite! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!

  10. I've never had miso soup; it sounds incredibly good! Sorry I didn't make it the last few round-ups, but I did make a great salad this week that I'll submit for this coming Souper Sunday! Hawaii was (and is) beautiful, Deb! We enjoyed it and look forward to returning in 2 years.

  11. Your miso soup looks wonderful, I love all the ingredients in it! Very comforting and warming.

  12. Can you believe I've never had miso soup before? Yours gives me the push I need to make my own! The coaching job sounds like a lot of work, but seems ultimately rewarding in the end. I bet you'll make some fast friends along the way too.

    I'm enjoying all the salads in the roundup this week. Definitely intrigued with Heather's cactus salad.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)