Wakame Up Miso Soup
A hearty version of miso soup with an abundance of vegetables. Served with soba noodles it’s a lovely, filling meal.
Loading up miso soup with an abundance of vegetables is an easy and enjoyable way for me to take in lots of nutrients at one time. Miso soup is generally miso paste added to dashi, which is a soup stock made of kelp and dried fish, scallions, and tofu. Here I add tamari and seaweed in my stock along with miso paste, mushrooms, sweet potato, radishes, celery, baby bok choy, and radish greens.
At our local organic produce market, shiitake and crimini mushroom look fresh and are usually always available. The tough and woody stems of the shiitake mushrooms can be sliced in thin strips adding a nice chewy bite. Sliced mushrooms are sautéed with onions, garlic and ginger before adding water to start a broth.
Radishes, sweet potato, and celery are a nice treat in the soup. Any type of radish will do, red, daikon, etc. Today I am using red radishes and the attached greens look good. I will chop the radish greens adding them a few minutes before serving. Leaving the skin on, I cut the sweet potato into small cubes because I want it to cook in the broth within 10-15 minutes. Bigger chunks will take longer to cook. Sliced celery gives the soup a slightly bitter or sharp taste. I throw all these delicious guys in with the sautéed mushrooms and mix it all up. Next I add water, tamari, chili garlic sauce, and seaweed. Did she just say seaweed? I’m pretty sure my 10 year old self would be barfing right now! Growing up on the Northeastern Coast I remember copious amounts of seaweed at the beach. The olfactory assault and being attacked while swimming did not make me a fan of seaweed. If seaweed conjures up unpleasant memories for you then try calling it ocean plant or sea vegetable. Definitely don’t call it seaweed in front of the kids unless that will challenge them to try something new. Don’t worry, it’s so yummy! Just try it.
The first time I added seaweed to my miso soup I thought I made a tragic mistake! I added a few pieces of kombu and the smell was awful so I quickly removed it and tasted the broth. I could still taste the seaweed. I continued cooking, thinking, “my husband will never eat this!”. Luckily the smell and flavor mellowed out as the soup cooked. Since then I have tried many types of sea vegetables. Mixed sea vegetables from Sea Tangle Noodle Company contains a nice variety of 9 different sea vegetable and can be found in the refrigerated section of a natural market. I have also used nori sheets left over from making vegetable sushi. Just gather or roll up the nori sheet and use kitchen shears to cut small ribbons. For today’s recipe I purchased wakame . I have not used these dried flakes before, but I know they are good for soup. So, wake-a-me when it’s done!
Speaking of done, once the potatoes and radishes are tender I reduce the heat and stir in the dark red miso paste.
I slice the leaf and white part of baby bok choy and add it at the end of cooking to retain the crispness. Radish greens or other greens can also be added. Don’t overcook the greens they should darken a bit in color while remaining vibrant. This only takes a minute or two. Ready to serve as is or over soba or kelp noodles. Garnish with sliced green onions and a pinch of sesame seeds. If you want to get crazy and add a little fat drizzle chili oil or sesame oil on top. This is a satisfying meal. It fills me up and makes me feel good!
½ TSBP Sesame oil or Olive oil
½ cup white onion, medium dice
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 small sweet potato, cubed small
2 ribs of celery, 1/2” cut crosswise
4-6 red radishes, quartered saving radish greens (optional)
6 cups of water
1 TBSP reduced sodium tamari
1 TBSP chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek (optional)
3 TBSP wakame flakes
1 TBSP red miso paste
1-2 heads baby bok choy, 1/2” cut crosswise
Cooked soba noodles (optional)
Sliced green onion, sesame seeds, chili oil or sesame oil (optional)
Sauté onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, celery, and radishes and stir well coating with sautéed mixture. Add water, tamari, chili garlic sauce, and wakame. Stir. Turn up heat and bring to boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through. Reduce heat to low. Once soup is simmering, add miso and stir well. Add bok choy and radish greens. May be served over noodles. Garnish with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.