This is a more classic Miso soup, using oils and spices more associated with Asian cooking.
2 large shallots
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 pound of white mushrooms (button, baby portabello, crimini or for more exotic look, shitake, oyster, enoki)
3 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons fresh finely chopped ginger
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned radish
1/2 cup miso (any kind)
6-8 cups water or vegetable stock (depending on how strong you like the miso flavor)
1/2 pound of firm tofu, cut to match julienne look)
half package of Annie Chun’s Maifun rice noodles (or Annie Chun Maifun brown rice noodles-if you can find them)
bean sprouts (several handfuls)
I begin with sauteeing the shallots in toasted sesame oil – shallot have a milder flavor than onions. Then add mushrooms. As the mushrooms “loosen up” I dump in a ton of garlic and fresh ginger, some julienned daikon radish and carrots. After 5-8 minutes I add half a cup of miso whisked into 6 cups of water. Let the whole potion simmer together for about 15 minutes to bind the flavors, then add the tofu.
I prepare the rice noodles in hot water separate from the soup, then drain them and leave them in a bowl. I find that cooking them in the soup makes them mushy. Also, it is impossible to store the leftovers over night if the rice noodles are in it – store them separately as well. As you serve the soup, put in a handful of rice noodles and top each bowl with a handful of bean sprouts and cilantro.
This soup is absolutely delicious. It is a very flexible soup and any of the ingredients can be left out or substituted out, short of the miso and you still have a great soup, so don’t obsess about finding daikon radishes – even the shallots can be replaced with onions.
I promised myself that I would never let this blog be an excuse for recounting precious anecdotes about my children, but I would be remiss if I didn’t report that whenever I make this soup, my children say, “Miso happy!”