A comforting mix of spring green veggies boiled into an addictive umami miso broth with ginger, garlic and basil. Using cheap ingredients and easy to make, this soup is the friendliest quarantine recipe. Plus, it is a delicious way to strengthen your immune system.
“In many ways, miso is to Japanese cooking what butter is to French cooking and olive oil to the Italians." (Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji)
I have to agree.
Japanese cooking might seem intimidating at times, but I think miso became quite a well-known ingredient for the health-conscious foodies. Miso isn't like anything else; this traditional paste is made by fermenting soybeans with rice, barley, seaweed or other ingredients. Its rich, delicious, complex umami flavour alongside its versatility and health-giving properties gave this ingredient a huge reputation in Japanese cooking and later it gained worldwide interest.
So I hope miso paste has its place in your kitchen by now.
This recipe is a spring hybrid. The miso broth itself is so good, it definitely goes wonderful with any veggies. But I find this mix of Brussel sprouts, parsnip, spring beans and kohlrabi is a winning combo. It's satisfying due to the cabbages and the textures are all different, some are a bit crunchy, the tofu is a bit chewy and all in all it's like a party that plays all your favourite songs.
Usually, I like to finish it with fresh spring onions, sesame seeds and sesame oil, but I didn't have them on hand (for lockdown reasons) so I used basil leaves (pho soup inspo). I would have also added wakame but nonetheless, this is a winner! It didn't lack anything.
Going forward, I would like to add that you can use any veggies you like. This is a quarantine friendly recipe and it's the best time to try your fave combinations. I would avoid super starchy veggies like potatoes, squash or sweet peas but apart from those try anything that comes in cheap and easy to find now in supermarkets: carrots, celery, spinach, napa cabbage, daikon, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers.
I used barley miso (mugi miso) which is more dark in color than the regular one and I personally love its round, sweet, winey flavour.
The soup will successfully live in the fridge for up to 6 days so you'd better make a big batch. After 1-2 days all flavours infuse in the veggies and it simply becomes divine!
Wholesome miso soup with kohlrabi and brussels sprouts
Vegan, Nut-free, Plant-based
Makes 2,5 L
Total time: 35 mins.
1 white medium onion, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, finely sliced
3-4 inch of fresh ginger, finely sliced
1 tsp whole black peppers
1 big parsnip root, julienne
1/2 kohlrabi, diced
1 cup frozen spring greens
2 cups brussels sprouts, cut in halves
2 cups chopped chestnut mushrooms
3 tbsp heat-tolerant oil (such as avocado, sunflower or rapeseeds)
3-4 tbsp miso paste
1/3 block firm tofu, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 cm lemon peel, white pith removed, cut julienne
fresh basil leaves
2,5 L water
First, sauté the chopped mushrooms in 1 tbsp oil. Add salt and when they are ready, leave aside.
In a large pot (I used my 3 L one) add the rest of 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add onion, garlic, ginger and black peppers and cook for about 2-3 mins, stirring continuously, on medium heat, until they release their flavours.
Now add the kohlrabi, parsnip and brussel sprouts and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until they slightly sweat.
You can now add 2,5 L of hot/ reboiled water + your sautéed mushrooms and bring everything to a boil.
In a cup, add miso paste and equal part soup and stir to make the paste runny. Add to the soup. Boil on low heat.
When the brussels are almost done, add the frozen spring greens and tofu.
Boil for 10 more minutes on low heat and taste for salt. Add some if needed.
When the soup is done, take it off the heat and depending on your taste, add juice from 1/2 lemon or 1/4. Add the lemon peel. You can also add the chopped basil leaves now, or keep them to add when serving.