- 2-3 pieces of Kombu seaweed
- 4 cups water
- 3 TBSP miso paste
- Mix ins such as: fresh sliced ginger, mushrooms, scallions, watercress or other greens
- opt. soba buckwheat noodles
To make the best miso soup, this first step is key. While you can skip it and simply make your miso soup with water it won’t have the same umami flavor. Luckily, it is very easy to make and fills the house with a wonderful aroma.
Place kombu in the water, and place on a burner set to medium. The longer the water takes to get to hot, the better. Watch the pot carefully, as the kombu should be taken out when it floats to the surface and before the water boils. You’ll notice little bubbles forming at the rim of the pot. If you want to get even fancier you can soak the kombu overnight in a jar of water, then pour the water and kombu into your pan. This base stock is called dashi.
Prepare your mix-ins by sautéing any vegetables that are sturdier than leafy greens. Mushrooms will add more umami flavor, sauté them in butter. Slice the scallions, wash and prep the greens. If you want to make a sturdier soup, boil some soba noodles to add in.
Add the ginger, scallions, and mushrooms and anything sturdier then greens (noodles if you are adding them) to your dash stock.
Make a Miso slurry – start with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of miso for each cup of liquid. I prefer white miso. Brown miso is easier to find but I find brown miso has too woody of a flavor for my liking. There is also a red miso.
Since the miso paste is refrigerated and quite thick, it takes a while to dissolve in the dashi. Therefore, you must thin the miso in a large soup ladle full of dashi (while it is still partially immersed in the pot), whisking with chopsticks to a smooth consistency first. If you don’t follow this step, it is likely that clumps of miso will remain undissolved when serving. Usually this requires 3-4 slurry making ladle fulls. (A really handy item is a miso koji; a small sieve with a wooden pestle that is made just for this purpose. It works wonderfully and makes quick work of this task, and is a great time saver if you serve miso soup regularly.) Miso should not be boiled, because it loses its flavor medicinal benefits.
Taste your miso and add more miso to your liking.
Add your greens and keep it warm for a few minutes — but do not let it boil.
Serve your soup adding whatever garnishes (or none!) you prefer such as pepper flakes, soy sauce, herbs, sriracha . . .