Winter is certainly upon us! Here in Brooklyn we’ve had a string of days in the teens, and that means soup- a lot of it. Cold certainly sends me toward soup, but so does the annual effect of said cold. That is, a cold! Whether it’s a tinge of sore throat or full on flu, nothing makes me feel better than this recipe. Miso soup is this vegan’s version of that other soup people eat when they’re sick.
Why is this soup purple? Because it’s made from purple cabbage cooking water. You can definitely use different vegetables, but cabbage flavors the cooking water beautifully, making a richer broth. And while you’re eating cabbage, you might as well eat the purple variety as it’s high in anthocyanins, potent cancer-preventative phytonutrients. Anyway, how often do you get to eat purple soup?
Miso is one of my all time favorite ingredients. It’s savory, umami, and salty. Plus it’s a whole soy food, so you get those incredibly healthful isoflavones. One of my pet peeves though are recipes that recommend cooking miso. Big no-no. Miso may confer some probiotic effects, so never cook the paste. The best way to dilute miso is to add just a couple of tablespoons of hot water to the paste, then whisk with a fork. At that point, you can add it to your soup (or stews, grains, or nearly anything else) Never boil it!
I find that miso soup tastes best with both white (sweeter) and darker red/brown miso as ingredients. You can get away with just one, but the complexity of the two is divine. The nutritional yeast adds just the extra bit of umami to make this soup so comforting. Let’s get to work.
6 cups water, boiled
1 Tbsp White Miso
2 Tbsp Red or Brown Rice Miso
2 Tbsp TVP (or 1/4 cup cooked lentils)
1-2 Tbsp Dried wakame
2 tsp Nutritional Yeast, B12 Fortified
2 tsp sesame seeds
Purple cabbage, Lacinato Kale, and /or greens of your choice
2 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch chunks
Boil a kettle with about 6 cups of water.
First, steam your veggies. Pour about 4 cups of the water you previously boiled into a large pot. Place carrots and cabbage into a veggie steamer above the water. After about 4 minutes, add the kale. Steam for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove veggies from pot, reserve the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile: soak seaweed in water for a couple of minutes. When softened, drain, rinse and chop into shreds if not already shredded.
In a large bowl, add the miso. Add a small amount of your cooking water to thin your miso paste- about 2 Tbsps water .(it need not be precise.) Whisk miso and cooking water until you no longer have large chunks of miso. Add TVP, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and seaweed.
Add remaining cooking water to the bowl. Stir to incorporate miso. Taste and add more water from the kettle if needed. (it will likely need it) Add vegetables. Enjoy!