Miso soup

DSC_0005.jpgThis very tasty and healthy soup takes almost an hour and a half to make, but it's worth it!

1 8" strip kombu (dried kelp) (0.2 oz.)
32 oz. water (4 cups)
12.3 oz. firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
2.2 oz. white miso (4 tbsp.)
2 scallions, chopped
soy sauce

Wipe off any powder on the kombu - do not wash it.

Put the kombu in a pot with 4 cups of water and soak at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Put the pot over medium low heat ("4" on my stove). Slowly bring to just under a boil, around 200°F, this will take about a half hour.

Just before boiling occurs, remove the kombu. It could be saved for other recipes, or discarded.

Up to this point you've just made kombu dashi, a Japanese soup stock.

DSC_0003.jpgAdd the tofu and the white parts of the scallions and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Put the miso in a bowl. Take some of the hot dashi liquid from the pot and add it to the bowl to dissolve the miso. Stir until completely dissoved. Return the contents of the bowl to the pot. If you didn't do this, you'd end up breaking the tofu getting all of the miso to dissolve.
DSC_0004.jpgSimmer for a few minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, add the green parts of the chopped scallions, and soy sauce. Mom would insist that MSG be added at this point, though I have omitted it. Kombu has an abundance of natural glutamates already. Serve.

Do not boil miso and it breaks down some of its nutritional value. It also affects its taste. Since there's tofu in it, it can't be frozen, either. Serves 2 - 4.

This miso soup recipe, based on kombu dashi, is vegan. Sometimes miso soup is made from katsuo dashi (dried bonito fish) or niboshi dashi (dried sardines); those soups obviously would not be.