miso paste (brown or red works well)
1/2 red onion
1 medium carrot
1 small zucchini
a handful of broccoli florets (3/4 cup ?)
1/4 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
5 cloves garlic
1-1 1/2 teaspoons chili oil/paste (the kind with flakes is best)
1/4 block regular firm tofu ([b]not silken[/b]!)
dried Wakame torn into pieces and soaked in water until hydrated
a small hand full dried mushrooms, also soaked in water until hydrated *[optional]
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
a splash of extra virgin olive oil
Begin by pre-soaking both the mushrooms and seaweed (Wakame) in water so that it is sufficiently hydrated. Set aside.
Wash all of your veggies well, and slice up. I usually cut the broccoli into bite-sized slices, the pepper into long thin strips and the carrots stir-fry style. ( turn the carrot as you chop it up, so you get little tear-drop shapes) The zucchini I usually just slice up into thin slices.
Grate the ginger if not already grated, and peel the garlic so it's ready to be crushed into the pot.
* [If you want, you can chop the garlic and ginger up instead of grating/pressing it, but I find the flavor comes out more if you don't.]
Slice up the onion into thin, thin slices like little discs, and set aside.
Chop the tofu up into bite size pieces, either little cubes or triangles. Whatever you think will be the best.
Steam the veggies until each one is soft and cooked all the way through. [b]Important![/b] -These vegetables require different cooking times. If added individually and in the following order, all of the vegetables will cook nicely in one pot. (Minimal dishwashing!) Carrots[br] Red Pepper[br] Broccoli[br] Zucchini[br]
Once all of the vegetables are tender, remove from heat and transfer ENTIRE contents (Water too!) into a large bowl and set aside.
In the same pot, sauté the onions and crushed garlic cloves in the olive oil on medium heat.
[To reduce the fat content, you can skip the olive oil and just sauté in the vinegar, BUT the olive oil does add Omega 3 benefits.]
Once the onions are tender and the garlic fragrant, add the ginger and the vinegar. Let the onion/garlic/ginger soak up a little vinegar, and then add the chili pepper oil/paste and tofu.
Let the mixture soak up the vinegar over low heat for a minute or two, being careful not to let anything burn.
Do not overcook! >:O
When the garlic/onion/ginger/tofu mixture has soaked up the vinegar and cooked sufficiently, add the vegetables with their water and KILL THE HEAT.
Now is the time to prepare the miso paste. Two large spoonfuls is how much I usually add, but you can add less/more to taste.
In a separate bowl, combine about 3/4 cup warm ([b]not boiling[/b]!) water and the miso paste, and stir with a spoon until the paste has dissolved.
Before adding the miso broth mixture to the rest of your soup, make sure that the water in the pot containing the veggies and tofu is below boiling.
Apparently boiling water kills the healthy benefits of miso, which would completely defeat the purpose!
Add the broth to the rest of your soup, along with the seaweed and mushrooms, if using.
Stir to combine and serve. Enjoy!
I eat this about three times a week, sometimes for lunch, if I feel like preparing it, but usually for dinner along with a bowl of brown rice and a small green salad. It's a very healthy and happy soup. Buddha would be proud!