Simple immune-boosting ingredients come together to make the earthy Miso Soup that's flavoured with three types of mushrooms.
From the kitchen of Sangita Agrawal, it's vegan, but versatile -- add noodles, tofu, stir-fried veggies, prawns or fish sauce to jazz it up further, and is perfect for a chilly night.
A 'self-taught cook' she says: 'I have cooked (for) many occasions. I have made a salad for my sister's wedding reception (for) 600-700 people. I have always cooked for my children's birthday parties and dinner parties. Seeing how happy my food made people, inspired me to start (a) cooking blog.'
- 2 tsp dark or toasted sesame oil, available in gourmet grocery shops or for purchase online
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- 8 pieces oyster mushrooms
- 8 pieces button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp rice wine vinegar, easily available in gourmet grocery shops or for purchase online
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp miso paste, easily available in gourmet grocery shops or for purchase online
- 200 gm bok choy
- 100 gm tofu, cut into thin long slices, easily available in gourmet grocery shops or for purchase online
- ¼ cup chopped spring onion greens
- 1 tbsp toasted til or sesame seeds
- 2 fresh red chillies, sliced on a bias (optional or per taste)
- Salt to taste (the soy sauce will add salt too)
For the stock
- 10 dry shitake mushrooms, available in gourmet grocery shops or for purchase online
- 1-inch piece ginger, crushed
- ½ cup spring onion greens
- 5 garlic pods, crushed
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 6 cups water
For the stock
- In a saucepan, add all the ingredients for the stock.
Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Reduce the heat to low and let it gently simmer for about 30 minutes.
Take off heat and strain and reserve the shitake mushrooms.
Discard the balance vegetables ie the ginger, spring onion greens, garlic.
This stock can be prepared a few days in advance and refrigerated or kept frozen.
- Slice the reserved shitake mushrooms and keep aside.
- Slice the hard stem of the bokchoy and keep the leaves separately.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed wok or saucepan.
Add the minced ginger, garlic and saute for few seconds.
Add both the button and the oyster mushrooms and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the crunchy stem portion of the bok choy, the sliced shitake mushroom and fry for a minute or two more.
In a bowl add 4 tbsp of the prepared stock, miso paste and mix well and add to the frying vegetables.
Pour into the saucepan containing the frying vegetables, the remaining stock and bring the soup to a boil.
Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and the miso paste.
Add salt only if required.
Once the soup comes to a boil, add the tender bok choy leaves and let it boil further for 1-2 minutes.
Add the thinly sliced tofu and simmer for 2 minutes more.
Take off heat, pour into individual bowls, garnish with the sliced red chillies (per your spice tolerance), chopped spring onion greens and the toasted sesame seeds.
Sangita's Note: You may also use store-bought stock but the soup will taste slightly different.
Fresh red chillies may be added to the soup while it is boiling along with bok choy, if you can tolerate the spice.
Editor's Note: For a Jain version of this soup, please skip the garlic and ginger.
Sangita Agrawal lives in Mumbai and publishes the food blog Bliss of Cooking.