Fermented foods are known for helping the body fight off viruses by keeping your gut health in check, and miso is full of them as it’s made from fermented soybeans. To really up the benefits, this soup also contains other immunity-boosters, like ginger, wakame, and fennel.
This is an easy recipe for two servings. I often make a much larger batch of the dashi, it freezes well and speeds up the process of future batches.
For the dashi (or substitute 2 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth):
- 2 cups water
- 1 (2-inch) piece kombu (dried black kelp)
- 1/2 cup loosely packed dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi), optional
For the miso soup:
- 4 ounces silken or firm tofu, drained
- 1 to 2 medium scallions
- 2 tablespoons red or white miso paste (I use Eden Foods, Organic, Genmai Miso)
For the dashi
- Warm the water and kombu over medium heat: Combine the water and kombu in a 1-quart saucepan and set over medium heat.
- Remove the kombu as the water comes to a boil: Remove the kombu from the water just before it comes to a full boil. (Boiling the kombu can make the broth bitter and a bit slimy.)
- Add the bonito flakes and simmer: Add the bonito flakes, if using, and let the water come to a rapid simmer. Continue simmering for about 1 minute.
- Steep the bonito flakes off the heat: Remove the pan from heat and let the bonito steep in the broth for an additional 5 minutes.
- Strain the broth: Strain the bonito flakes from the both. Add additional water, pouring through the strained bonito, if needed to make 2 cups.
To Make the Soup
- Prepare the tofu and scallions. Cut the tofu into very small cubes, 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch on each side. Slice the scallions very thinly.
- Bring the broth to a rapid simmer. Pour the dashi or broth back into the saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
- Mix the miso with 1/2 cup hot broth. Place the miso in a small ramekin or measuring cup. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the broth and pour it over the miso. Whisk with a fork or whisk until the miso is entirely dissolved in the water and no lumps remain.
- Pour the miso into the broth. Pour the dissolved miso into the simmering broth.
- Add the tofu. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the tofu to the miso. Simmer just enough to warm the tofu, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not boil the miso once the tofu has been added.
- Add the scallions. Just before serving, scatter the scallions over the top of the soup.
- Serve in individual bowls. Pour the miso into individual bowls and serve. Miso is best when served fresh. It will settle a bit as it sits in the broth; whisk briefly with chopsticks or a spoon to mix the soup again.