Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Woodland Pond Miso Soup
This miso soup evokes the tranquil, calming mystery of a pristine woodland pond. Miso soups are delicious and a tonic. This one is full of umami savoriness from shiitakes, sea vegetables, and shiro (mild white) miso. Baby artichokes, daikon, carrot, and aromatic garlic and ginger are layered over a vegetarian dashi broth. The addition of edamame makes it surprisingly filling and packs its own anti-inflammatory punch with fiber, protein, omega-3s, and isoflavones. Enjoy as a starter or an entrée, or any time your body or soul needs a boost.
Prep time 8 hours to steep dashi broth + 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
1 piece kombu kelp, 5” by 5”
8 organic or sulfite-free dried shiitake mushrooms
12 cups water
1 large juicing carrot, scrubbed or peeled, cut in 1/4” slices
¾” knob of fresh ginger, peeled, cut emincé (sliced very thinly), then slivered
2 cloves garlic, cut emincé
2 tablespoons wakame seaweed
1 sheet unseasoned nori, cut in 1/8” strips
12 miniature artichokes, outer leaves discarded, and stems trimmed
1 to 2 small colorful daikon radishes, either sliced thinly to roll flower buds, or cut in ¼” slices
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
To build your plant-based dashi broth, the foundation for miso soups, in separate bowls steep the kombu in 6 cups of water and the dried shiitake in 6 cups of water for at least 6 hours. Discard the kombu and combine its viscous soaking water with the shiitake soaking water in a medium soup pot. Discard any shiitake stems that have remained tough and cut the mushrooms into 1/8-inch slices.
To make daikon flower buds, cut the radishes using a mandolin on its finest setting. Alternatively, you can slice them ¼-inch thick. Before plating the soup, these thicker carrot and daikon disks can serve as is or be cut into decorative flower shapes using a flower-shaped vegetable or cookie cutter (see below).
Use the mandolin on its finest setting to slice the garlic and ginger. Stack the ginger and slice them into slivers. Add the garlic and ginger to the soup pot, together with the wakame, nori strips, sliced shiitakes, carrot and daikon slices, if using, and trimmed artichokes. Heat to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes before adding the edamame for the final 10 minutes of cooking. The soup is ready when a knife can easily pierce the side of an artichoke. Do not overcook.
The soup is seasoned with shiro miso after plating to avoid overheating the miso which would destroy its beneficial probiotic microbes. Dilute the miso paste with water or some of the soup broth to enable it to dissolve easily into the soup. Serve the diluted miso at table and allow each guest to season to taste.
Warm your bowls before plating to help the soup retain its heat as you plate it.
You can now remove the carrot/daikon disks with a flower-shaped vegetable or cookie cutter, if desired. If you also wish to stuff them with the daikon flower “buds,” punch out the center of the disks with a small cutter. Stack 3 of the very thin daikon slices and roll tightly to resemble a rosebud, before screwing them gently into the carrot or daikon disk bases. Finally, ladle the soup vegetables into each bowl, and use a chopstick or your fingers to open each artichoke so they resemble a waterlily. Decoratively arrange the carrots, daikon, and artichokes. Serve, passing around the miso at table.
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