Hearty Miso Soup (with Pearl Barley)
NOTE: Miso is a thick, fermented paste that contains a significant amount of beneficial bacteria which help promote health by stimulating digestion and aiding the body to build resistance against disease. Since it is considered a living food, it’s important to never cook miso or allow it to come to a boil. Instead, be sure to add it to foods that are already prepared.
4 cups Dashi (see recipe below)
1 cup water
2 tsp oil (sesame or olive)
2 carrots (peeled and cut into matchsticks)
1-2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3-6 mushrooms (preferably shiitake, either fresh or reconstituted, and sliced thin)
1 cup spinach (fresh or frozen)
2 scallion (sliced thinly on the diagonal)
2- 3 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp shoyu or tamari
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Grated fresh ginger (optional)
½ cup cooked pearl barley (prepared in a separate pot according to package directions)
Sauté ginger, carrots and mushrooms in a large pot with 2 tsp oil. (About 3-4 minutes)
Add water to pot. Bring to a boil, then add dashi.
Allow to simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, then add spinach and simmer another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add scallions, miso that has been mixed with some water, and shoyu.
Season with red pepper flakes.
Enjoy soup plain or add cooked barley for a heartier meal.
Note: Makes 8 cups. Dashi is a basic Japanese stock used to make many soups including traditional Miso soup.
1 square piece kombu (3×3 inches)
8 cups water
1 loose cup bonito flakes