Dear cold and flu bug,
We’ve got a secret weapon, this very special immune-building soup. Fresh ginger, green onion, capsicum pepper, and mineral rich miso stirred into broth–Mr. Nasty Cold, you don’t stand a chance. A dose of hot and sour miso soup with its steamy vapor alone will keep those bad-boy germs at bay.
Kind of like grandma’s chicken noodle soup, but imho better, hot and sour miso soup nourishes the body and the soul. There’s a medicinal effect with hot homemade comfort—soothing soup makes you feel better.
Oh the flavors–spicy hot jalapeño and cayenne, tangy sour rice wine vinegar, and umami rich shiitake, tamari soy sauce and miso. Deep red-brown miso is lush with antioxidants and protective fatty acids, and a healthy dose of Vitamin E. Miso also boasts protein and Vitamin B12, and a nice selection of minerals to help boost immune system strength.
Firm tofu, crunchy carrot, and shiitake mushroom slivers float in the miso broth, adding texture. Arrowroot thickens the liquid a teensy bit, just the right amount. This hot and sour miso soup is life-changing. It’s what you make when you miss your mother. To boot, it can be ready in a half hour!
Sooooo… Keep those cold and flu bugs away. Wash your hands–a lot, douse your phone with antiseptic wipes, and resist itching your eyes. And be sure to prescribe yourself hot and sour miso soup often, as needed.
Hot and Sour Miso Soup with Tofu recipe details:
- Miso is a fermented seasoning, a staple in every Japanese kitchen; its range of flavors and colors, textures and aromas is as varied as that of the world’s fine wines or cheeses. I tend to go with dark miso in soup. (White miso makes a wonderful salad dressing—this recipe.)
- Almost all the time, for the quick and easy, I use a quality powdered vegetable broth base. If you have the time, make homemade vegetable broth.
- Arrowroot powder is ground from a tropical tuber and is high in minerals, compared to cornstarch with little nutritional value. You can substitute cornstarch for the arrowroot.
- The spicy heat is to your taste–if someone is chile pepper sensitive, use less. If you don’t have a jalapeño pepper, add another pinch of cayenne.
- Grate your ginger easily with a microplane zester. A grapefruit spoon with a serrated tip is perfect for removing veins and seeds.
- I used my OXO mandoline to cut matchstick carrot slivers. And cut-resistant gloves so I don’t cut myself on the sharp blades!
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You will adore this spicy vegetarian soup—medicine for those down-in-the-dumps days when you need hot and soothing nourishment.
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup boiling water
- 7 cups hot vegetable stock
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1/2 pound firm tofu, sliced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine (mirin)
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
- 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, veins and seeds removed, minced
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup dark miso
- 2 carrots, cut in matchstick slivers, or grated
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl, pour the cup of boiling water over, cover, and let stand 10 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are soaking, simmer the onions, garlic, and ginger in the vegetable broth for 5 minutes. Add the tofu (if using) and simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in the rice wine, vinegar, tamari, minced jalapeño, cayenne, and sesame oil.
- Strain the soaking liquid from the dried mushrooms into the soup. Slice the mushrooms into slivers and add them.
- Dissolve the arrowroot in the 1/4 cup of cold water. Add to the soup and bring to a gentle boil, stirring. The soup will become very slightly thickened.
- Place the miso in a bowl and mash in 1/2 cup of the soup until smooth. Add the miso liquid to the soup along with the carrots. Heat but do not allow the soup to boil--boiling destroys some of the nutrition of the miso and changes the flavor. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with more vinegar, tamari, or cayenne, as needed. Serve immediately.