Friday, May 27, 2011

Sometimes we eat healthy: Miso Soup for 2.5

I'm toying with the idea of regularly titling my posts with something pithy or apropos rather than just stating what food I'll be talking about. That would suit me, right? And I don't think it would affect searchability at all.

Hey, Edith, you know what would affect searchability? In a good way? A search option. Or a freaking recipe index. Can you get on that please?

Yes. I can. I will. I promise.


(My mom and sister will be visiting in the next two weeks, so maybe I'll take advantage of their presence (i.e. free, convenient, in-home child care) and go to a coffee shop for two hours (that's as long as I can go between infant feedings) and get it done then. It's not a daunting task. It's just not been something I can prioritize lately and it does sound a little tedious, despite how useful it will be for me and all the people who end up visiting this site (mostly for a mayo-free tartar sauce recipe, based on my Google analytics info).)

But anyway. This post is meant to demonstrate that it's not all cookies and sweet rolls here. Our dinners lately have been uber-healthy and fresh, because we need that to counteract the cookies and sweet rolls, and because we're trying to get ready for the Minnesota CSA season. We're easing into it by getting a lot of herbs and green vegetables from the farmer's market every Saturday. So hopefully by the time our first share arrives we will be so practiced in the art of veggie-centric-meal-making that the amount of leafy greens and young alliums we find in our box won't overwhelm us in the least.

miso soup close-up

My go-to vehicles for using up or pumping into my family vegetables are soups, salads and smoothies. Since it's been chillier here than we'd like for it to be in, you know, late May, we ended up eating soup several times this week. This particular miso soup was a favorite because it is lovely, subtly salty (everyone loves a subtly salty soup, right?), and tastes like it's boosting our immune systems a bit. Is it really? I really don't know, but my kids and I have been swapping the sniffles for like five months now, so I'll try anything to get some wellness into this home, scientifically backed or not.

deconstructed miso soup

My toddler's deconstructed portion is what makes the 0.5, by the way. Cute, eh?

miso soup for 2.5 collage

I used soba noodles, sweet white miso, spinach, and baked teriyaki-flavored tofu in this soup. Udon or linguine, any kind of miso, and watercress or bok choy could be substituted for what I used and you could use extra firm plain tofu in place of the baked kind, or you could omit it entirely. (Also, my husband hates them, but if I were eating this myself I would have thrown in a handful of sliced mushrooms with the asparagus and tofu.) My point in this paragraph being this is obviously an anything-goes kind of soup. Knock yourself out. And kick that cold.

Miso Soup for 2.5
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Yield: 2-3 servings

4 cups water
1/4 cup miso paste
About 3 ounces uncooked soba noodles
1/3 pound asparagus, rinsed and cut into 1" pieces
4 ounces baked tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes (optional)
One bunch (or 2 large handfuls) spinach, torn or coarsely chopped
1 cup frozen or fresh edamame (if frozen, start to thaw before bringing water to boil)
2 scallions (or one stalk of green garlic, if you can find it at the farmer's market), thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or more, to taste)

Place water in 2-quart saucepan and stir in miso. Bring to boil, add noodles, and cook according to package instructions. When there are two minutes left for the noodles to cook, add the asparagus and tofu, so that the asparagus is al dente and tofu is just warmed through.

While water is boiling and noodles are cooking, divide the spinach into two soup bowls. Top each bowl of spinach with half the edamame, half the scallions or green garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon or more of red pepper flakes. When the noodles are finished cooking, ladle equal portions of miso broth, noodles, asparagus and tofu on top of the fresh vegetables in the soup bowls. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce on top. Serve piping hot and clear those sinuses.


  1. I made almost the same soup last week! It was so good! We have lots of miso left, might need to make it again... :)

  2. I think I need to make that yummy "Miso Chicken Piccata" from your blog, 'March 2010' if anyone is interested, it's REALLY good. :)

  3. Thanks, Lis. This sounds like an interesting (albeit less healthy) way to use up a jar of miso too:

    Let me know if you give it a shot!

  4. Wow that does sound interesting and a very bold use of Miso!! I'll let you know if/when I try this out! Thanks! :)