When my husband is out of town, I often let our daughter E pick what we’ll have for dinner. Almost always her first pick is lasagna, followed by peanut butter noodles or macaroni and “cheese.” The girl loves her pasta. Recently, however, I was thrilled when she told me what she wanted: Miso soup. Actually, what she said was, “I want a soup that’s warm and brothy, mostly liquid, not all thick and full of stuff like most of your soups are, Mom.”
She had me there. Usually when I make soup, I cram in veggies and beans and potatoes to make it a one-pot meal. I am, as I’ve said before, basically a lazy cook, and if I can get away with making only one dish for dinner, I’ll take the easy way almost every time.
But I can do brothy, if that’s what she wants; after all, brothy is easy, too. E’s crazy about miso soup, so that’s what we settled on, with silken tofu just like her favorite Japanese restaurant does it. Of course I had to add a little extra something-something: mushrooms-mushrooms. I adore the earthy flavor that shiitakes contribute to miso soup, and I tossed in a few white mushrooms for good measure. And you know what? We each ate three bowls. Because that’s the kind of thing we can get away with when her father is away!
Double Mushroom Miso Soup
- 6 cups vegetable broth (I used No-chicken Broth)
- 1/2 cup (.35 ounce) dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon dried shredded wakame (optional, but good)
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
- 1/2 carton (about 6 ounces) firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used Mori-nu Lite)
- 2-3 tablespoons white miso
- Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the dried mushrooms and seaweed. (If you are using whole dried mushrooms, add them now, let them soften, and remove them and slice before adding back to the pan with the other ingredients.) Simmer until mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the button mushrooms and silken tofu and simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Ladle out about 1/2 cup of the broth and stir it into 2 tablespoons of the miso. Mix until smooth and add to the pot. Taste, and if more miso is needed, repeat the process with another tablespoon of miso.
- Allow the soup to simmer for about 5 more minutes without boiling and serve.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
This makes about 6 large bowls or 8 smaller ones. Based on 6 servings, each bowl provides 38 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (11% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 705mg Sodium; 1g Fiber.
Along with the soup, we enjoyed Sesame Broccoli. This isn’t so much a recipe as a cooking technique:
Sesame Broccoli for Two
I’m always surprised when people tell me they never use the broccoli stems. Don’t throw them away! They’re loaded with nutrients and flavor.
- 2 large stalks broccoli, cut into florets and stems peeled and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon additional sesame oil
- additional water as needed
- sesame seeds for serving
- First prepare the broccoli by cutting off the florets and dividing them into bite-sized pieces. Then chop the smaller stems into little chunks. Cut off and discard the bottom tough part of the broccoli stalk–about 1/2 to 1-inch, depending on the broccoli. Stand the stalk up on end and trim off the tough outer skin with a sharp knife (or just use a peeler). Slice the stalk into diagonal slices, about 1/8-inch thick.
- Have about 1/2 cup of water ready by your stove. Using a wok or non-stick skillet that has a cover, put the sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of water into the pan, and heat it until it begins sizzling. Add the ginger and stir for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and, if the pan is dry, another 2 tbsp. of water. Stir quickly and cover. Cook for one minute.
- Remove the cover and stir. Add another splash of water and cover again. Cook for one minute.
- Repeat the process of stirring and adding a splash of water one more time. Check the broccoli, and if it is bright green yet becoming tender, it is done. If you want your broccoli more tender, repeat the process until it’s how you like it. When it’s done, add another tablespoon of water, the soy sauce, and the 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil. Toss well and serve immediately, sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 6 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2
Makes 2 servings, each providing 102 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (19% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 254mg Sodium; 9g Fiber.
This made an excellent light meal for me, but it was a little too light for E. After eating 3 bowls of soup and more than her share of the broccoli, she made herself a bowl of cereal. In retrospect, I should have included a grain or starchy vegetable with this meal, so I suggest you try it paired with some rice, noodles, or roasted winter squash.
If you’re more interested in thick and hearty soups than thin and brothy ones, here are a few of my favorite one-pot meal soups:
- Garden Vegetable and Bean Soup
- Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale
- Ethiopian-Inspired Red Lentil Soup
- Rustic Red Kale and White Bean Soup
- Collard Greens and White Bean Soup
Thanks for all your kind words and congratulations on the VegNews news. I still haven’t managed to get a copy of the magazine, so I’ll just have to take your word for itbut at least now it’s on their website!
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