January 6, 2012

Mushroom Miso Soup

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
      -Edward Bulwer-Lytton

What a fantastic opening line.  And what a pity it is that until just a few minutes ago I had never known the fantastic finish to the start of "It was a dark and stormy night,"  Aside from the quip about flickering lamps, which could easily have been electricity in my house, every other word is accurate in describing the night I had in mind.  

Just home from a day of shopping, when the darkness had fallen long ago, the rain did ride on sheets of wind and the sound of fat drops washed over my ears, I made this soup.  What better night for a steaming bowl of soup to stave off the cold and impending sickness that could surely follow.  There was therapy in making, chopping, moving, cooking and therapy in eating, smelling, slurping.  On any one of the coming cold, wet nights pull together this soup and warm your soul.

Mushroom Miso Soup 

Makes: 5 servings
Source: a combination of two recipes

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp sesame oil
4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 cups water
1/2 jalapeno, sliced thin (ribs and seeds removed)
4 scallions (I didn't have these) sliced then
2 small bok choy (washed very well) chopped into bite sized pieces
2 cups shredded mushrooms
1/3 block firm tofu
3 Tbsp light miso paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
3.5 oz dried spaghetti noodles

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for noodles.  Cook the noodles while you make the soup.  Drain and rinse with cold water while the soup is being prepared.

In a large pot heat sesame oil over medium heat.  Once it's hot sauté garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add stock and water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a simmer and add jalapeno, scallions and bok choy.  Simmer for 8 minutes, add mushrooms and tofu.  Simmer for 5 more minutes before adding miso paste, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Taste now for saltiness.  I didn't think it needed more soy sauce but Shane added some to his bowl.

In the bottom of each bowl place noodles, add soup and top with some sirracha if desired.   

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