It started snowing here - again - so when Cathy spelled out soup for this weeks dinner, I was indeed pleased. I decided to try my hand on something simple and easy: miso soup. I've loved miso ever since I worked at a sublime sushi restaurant here in Copenhagen - I love the feeling of the warm wooden bowl in your hand as you sip the hot soup, and digging out the slightly chewy sea weed with my chopsticks and trying to scoop up the soft tofu without it breaking - mmmm. Don't bother with salmon or mushrooms - I like it plain, thankyouverymuch.
As I've mentioned before, my experience in the Asian genre isn't very up-to-date, so when I found this recipe at the YAY! revived "I was just really very hungry" I was thrilled! I sometimes find it so hard to find recipes on things that are "just basics". How to do a stock (I have found that one now, thanks to Thomas Keller!), how would I get my spring roll paper to stick together, how do I __________ - fill in the blanks! So I loved that Maki had taken her time to let me (us) know just how to get it right - and had found a picture to go with her post that shows miso exactly as it's supposed to be served, in my opinion!
There's the recipe for miso - but to do a proper miso, you also need dashi, the "stock" of the soup so to speak, made from bonito flakes and kombu. That started out somewhat a problem - my local Asian market didn't stock bonito flakes and I was send home with - dashi-granules! Well, I have never! Luckily, my other standby Asian market had the real kind - and, I found out, was about $3 cheaper on everything else I needed, than my local shop.
It's so easy to do, and it's instant gratification. It's warm, savory and it smells lovely - I know, it's dried fish flakes for crying out loud, but I really liked it. There's no muddling of the flavors - so do make sure you buy a miso paste that's worth the trouble - and sip away. As I mentioned, I like my soup plain, but Maki's got some nice suggestions for other ingredients, should you be so inclined. Also, she tells you to stir the miso paste with a little of the dashi before adding it to the rest of the dashi, just to avoid lumps - please do follow those instructions - I forgot and got - lumps! Silly me!
Cathy's done TWO soups this time around - I don't know HOW she finds the time!