This has been a week made up entirely of Mondays. After the holiday deluge of over-eating, over-drinking, under-exercising and just generally not being the kindest to my body, this first week of January has been about recovery and hitting the reset button, and I know I’m not alone. We’re all in the midst of some sort of holiday detox, whether that means big kale salads and green smoothies, or simply paring back a bit from all the excesses of the season.
It’s still very much winter here – albeit a coastal winter, gentler than those of you in the midwest and east coast are currently experiencing – but still cold. The northern light is lower and even bluer than I imagined it could be when we first moved here over the summer. I can’t feign much interest in juice cleanses, but I do like the idea of a clean start. In the calm that follows – or rather begins – a new year.
I’m craving big bowls of healthy, healing… green. It’s the time of year for big, hearty bowls of grains and roasted vegetables, and certainly less sugar, but most of all: soups – flavorful, healing broths packed with goodness to warm you up from the inside out.
When it comes to soup, I like lots of texture, particularly that lovely contrast between a warm, nourishing broth, and lots of fresh, raw veggies piled on top, that so often pops up in Asian-inspired recipes. I’ve been imagining a hearty miso soup for a while now, stocked with warming garlic and ginger, swirls of buckwheat soba noodles, chunks of tofu and a heaping of veggies. The vegetables – in this case handfuls of chopped scallions, shitake mushrooms, lacinato kale leaves and radish sprouts – cook a bit when added to the soup, but maintain their freshness and a bit of crunch. Not particularly authentic, but nonetheless soul-satisfying.
The flavorful, ginger-y miso broth can easily be made in advance, and warmed up when chilly days beg for a restorative soup filled with fresh veggies (whatever you happen to have on hand at the moment). Happy Weekend!Print
Ginger Miso Broth
- 2 tsp sesame or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely-minced
- 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced (or use crushed ginger paste)
- 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 cups (32 oz) chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp miso (I use Miso Master or Westbrae Natural Mellow Red Miso)
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, as needed
For the Ginger Miso Soba Soup
- 4 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
- 1/2 cup fresh shitake mushrooms, roughly-chopped
- 1 cup (packed) kale leaves, roughly-chopped
- 7 oz firm or extra-firm tofu
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
- small handful of radish sprouts, pea shoots, bean sprouts, etc.
- sesame seeds and/or chili flakes, for serving
- Make the Broth: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the soy sauce, and stir to combine. Cook for another minute. Add the stock, cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid, and let simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes.
- Ladle a half cup or so of the broth into a small bowl. Stir in the miso and whisk until dissolved. Pour the miso broth into the pot and cook for a minute or two to heat through (but don’t let come to a boil).
- Assemble the Ginger Miso Soba Soup: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the soba noodles according to package directions, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, cook the soba noodles in the simmering ginger broth, prior to adding the miso. Add the mushrooms and kale and cook for a minute or two to soften.
- OR Divide the soba, mushrooms and kale leaves (for crunchier veggies) between two large bowls. Add the tofu. Pour the miso broth over the top and sprinkle with the scallions, sprouts, sesame seeds and chile flakes (if using). Serve warm.