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Spring Root Vegetable Miso Soup

This is a homey miso soup. The flavor of red miso and the sweetness of white miso compliment tender spring root vegetables. The punch of spicy raw arugla adds a nice contrast to the mild flavor of the soup. Japanese vegetarian stock, known as Dashi, gives the soup a subtle but deep flavor. The stock can be easily made by soaking the dried ingredients in water over night.

Serves 4
Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 3 cups Japanese vegetarian stock (5 inches dried konbu seaweed, 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, 3 cups water)
  • 2 TBS red miso
  • 1 TBS white miso (adjust the amount according to the saltiness of the miso that you are using)
  • 3 baby carrots
  • 2 spring (baby) onions
  • 4 tokyo turnips
  • 1 medium sized yukon gold potatoes
  • A handful of arugla leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil

1) To make Japanese vegetarian stock, soak the konbu and shiitakes with 3 cups of water in a jar with a lid. Keep refrigerated over night, This part should be done a day earlier.

2) Wash the vegetables. Peel the carrots and potatoes. Cut the carrots, potatoes, and turnips into 1/2 inch cubes. Remove the root of the spring onions, cut off the top about 5 inches above the onion bulb and take away the tough outer leaves. Cut the stem crosswise into 1/2 inch long rings. Cut the bulb lengthwise into wedges.

3) Transfer the stock to a medium sized pot and remove the konbu and shiitakes. Add the vegetables to the pot.

4) Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender (about 8 minutes).  

5) Meanwhile, prepare the miso mixture. Put both types of miso in a small bowl. Add a small spoonful of the broth from the pot and mix well. Repeat until the mixture becomes slightly runny.

6) Test the doneness of the vegetables by poking them with a fork. The vegetables are done when they are easily pieced by the fork. Turn off the heat.

7) Add 2/3 of the miso mixture into the pot, give a stir and taste. Add the rest if needed. (Note: The saltiness of miso varies from brand to brand.)

8) Turn on the heat to warm the miso but do not boil. Boiling will kill the living culture in the miso and lessen the flavor. Turn off the heat when you see the surface of the soup start to move.

9) Pour the soup into the bowls. Place the arugla leaves on top of the soup, drizzle olive oil over and serve.

Copyright 2006, Ayako Iino. All right reserved.