Miso Soup with Pumpkin
Miso soup is a Japanese fixation: a shocking number of people in Japan will have a salty bowl of miso soup with every single meal, alongside the obligatory white rice. Even if we’re not quite so fanatical about it, we still make it at least three or four times a week at home.
Of course, there are different kinds of miso (white, red, brown) and you can add in different combinations of vegetables, tofu and/or seafood. So there is some room for variation. But the basic idea is always pretty much the same: miso paste suspended in dashi broth.
In Japan, we add vegetables according to the season. Since it’s fall, we thought pumpkin was a good choice.
- One quarter of a small pumpkin
- One quarter of a large onion
- One spring onion
- Miso paste – just over half a table-spoon per diner
- One tea-spoon of Dashi soup base
- 2/3rds of a cup of water per diner
- Peel the pumpkin and dig out the seeds
- cut into chunks big enough to dig your teeth into
- Cut onion into thickish wedges
- Slice spring onions as thin as possible – use the whole thing, not just the white part
- Bring the water to a boil
- Add in one tea-spoon of Dashi
- Add the pumpkin and onions
- Boil for maybe 10 minutes over medium heat until the pumpkin is soft
- Bring the flame down to low
- Now the tricky part: put the miso into a small strainer
- Hold the strainer with the miso in it in one hand and a fork in the other
- Dunk the strainer in the broth
- Slowly help disolve the miso by stroking it with the fork until fully disolved
- Add spring onions
- Discard the hard miso residue that remains behind in the strainer
- Turn heat off
Whatever you do, never boil miso soup! A very gentle simmer is ok. Boiling kills it.
Miso soup is the universal companion dish. It basically goes with everything.
For today’s lunch we had miso soup, ohitashi (boiled greens with Soy sauce) and takikomi-gohan (savory rice), microwaved from the yesterday’s dinner.