Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mushroom Leek Soup Part II

Recently, I made some wonderful, creamy potato mushroom leek soup. It was filling and warming, exactly what you need with soup. I had a little mushroom and leek leftover, so I figured why not make another soup?

These ingredients are so versatile that I wanted to try something different from the last one. This time, I made a soup with very similar ingredients, but added some Japanese elements to transform it into a completely different meal.

If you haven't tried cooking with miso, you should. It is not an ingredient used in western cooking, but it is really common in Japanese food. You can find it in health food stores, but I find the best place to get it is in an Asian market. Much cheaper and more variety. Most commonly used in soup, but it can be used to season lots of dishes.

What is miso? Well, normally it is fermented soy beans, but sometimes is made with barley, rice or wheat. Once fermented, it becomes a paste that is salty and smooth. Miso is fermented with a B12 bacteria, so if you are looking for a way to get B12 in your diet (fellow vegans, I am talking to you), this is an easy source. It is also a source of trace minerals like zinc and copper, another thing that are helpful in a vegan diet. Miso is really high in sodium, so watch how much you have in a day. That said, you don't need much, so unless you are on a low sodium diet, I don't think sodium is a big issue with miso.
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Alright let's get back to this soup. I love miso soups because they don't take a long time to cook. Basically make any kind of vegetable soup you want and then add miso at the end. I always try to add some sea vegetables to boost nutrition. I also usually add tofu for a little more protein.

This time I kept it super simple.

Mushroom Leek Miso Soup

  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • One Leek, white part only, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1-2 mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • Water (enough to cover the vegetables)
  • Udon  noodles
  • 1 Tbso soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • Optional additions: Tofu, wakame, broccoli, kale,carrots, celery etc etc.
Like most soups add oil to a large pot and heat. Add the leeks, garlic and mushrooms cook them until they are soft and browning. If they are sticking, add some water. Once cooked, add the water, broth, noodles and bring to a boil. Add the soy sauce and mirin. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. 

Always saute your base veggies for soups. it adds flavour

I tried to fry some of the noodles first. It really didn't do much, so I didn't add it to the directions.
Up to you to try this way

Now to add the miso, take a cup of the broth out of the pot and add the miso paste. Stir it well and then add it to the soup. Lastly, before serving drizzle a little rice vinegar.

Another warm and satisfying soup. 

Good for any meal. Including breakfast. Some people swear by miso first thing in the morning
Well, after today, I am on the road for a week. I have a bad track record for blogging on the road. I am really going to try my best to keep up blogging everyday. I am truly loving it. Even if it is hard work! Anyone out there reading.. I am looking for food that can be made with just a microwave and very limited cooking supplies. Please comment if you have any suggestions, or email me.

Thanks, have an excellent Saturday!

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