Today I had a crappy lunch that made me not feel so well. I had 2 pieces of frozen pizza and I ate the crust! I am gluten free, but today I wanted to eat that thin, crispy crust - I knew I would pay for it later, and pay I did. So, when deciding what to make for dinner, miso soup came to mind. We are entering the beginning stages of fall here in Port Angeles, Washington where the weather in the afternoons can be warm and evenings are crisp and cool, and I thought miso soup would fit the bill.
Katsuobushi, dried fish, is normally used to make dashi, a flavorful broth in Japanese cooking, and I was out of it. I then remembered I had some shrimp paste I had made for red Thai curry in my freezer, so I cut off about a 1/4 cup chunk and fried it up in a pot with some leeks - some cut up shrimp would work as a substitute. This might have been too much, because my husband, Jim, ended up not liking the shrimpy taste. I also remembered that he doesn't like the texture of cooked shiitake mushrooms, so I ended up taking those out of his bowl and put them in mine. That's ok that Jim didn't like this version of my miso soup, I like it and I have leftovers for several more bowls.
Miso Soup Recipe
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1-2 Tb. shrimp paste or cut up shrimp (depending on how much shrimpy flavor you want)
Handful of leeks (only because I had them)
About 6 - 8 slices of lunch meat
½ c. or so of frozen mixed veggies
6 Tb. red miso paste (the white one has MSG)
5 c. chicken stock (mine is unsalted)
Place dried mushrooms in a mug of warm water and place something on top to hold them down as they will float - you are reconstituting them.
In a medium pot, saute frozen shrimp paste with leeks until leeks have softened.
Put in your miso paste - because the paste is thick, you normally dissolve the paste in warm water, but I was lazy. Mix the paste in with the other ingredients.
Take your reconstituted shrooms, cut into small pieces, and add them to the miso ingredients, stirring to combine.
Pour in your stock and stir to dissolve the miso (you can include the mushroom water for extra flavor - I forgot).
Let the soup ingredients marry for several minutes, bringing to a gentle boil.
In the meantime, crack the eggs in the mug and break it up to combine the yolks and the whites.
When the soup is almost boiling, stir the post while adding the eggs. The eggs will break into shreds - keep stirring for about a minute. Another option, is to just break the eggs into the soup and let it poach.
Serve hot over brown rice or throw in some rice noodles before soup is done.