Renowned for it health giving properties, miso soup has been a mainstay of the Japanese diet and standard fare in the macrobiotic diet. Science is finally able to corroborate what the wise have known all along- that miso:
- is a great source of iron, calcium, potassium, B vitamins and protein
- is a good source of polyunsaturated fats (can lower “bad” cholesterol to reduce the risk of heart disease)
- contains the isoflavin Genistein, a powerful antioxidant which combats free radicals that pollute our bodies
- promotes healthy ph in the digestive tract
- produces lactobacilli (probiotics) which help in digestion and healing of the intestines
- promotes a healthy biome and therefore helps with depression and mood disorders
- neutralizes acids in the body and generally helps to make the blood more alkaline
Homemade miso, as with other homemade ferments and pickles, is a lost art. Miso is relatively easy to make at home. Come to one our Food Production Workshops at the Macrobiotic Centre to learn how to make homemade miso and other naturally fermented products.
In the meantime, there are many great misos on the market today. Purchase from the refrigerator in your health food store. I recommend Tradition Miso, a local company which produces very good quality miso. They produce 3 year miso as well as shorter fermented misos. South River Miso is produced in Massachusetts and is also excellent.
4 cups water
1 inch piece of dried wakame, rinsed, soaked and chopped
2 dried shitake mushroom, rinsed, soaked and sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 inch piece of daikon, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon barley or rice miso
1 minced scallion for garnish (or minced parsley or chopped watercress)
Place chopped wakame, sliced shiitake and sliced onion in a pot with the water. Bring to a slow boil, uncovered. Add the sliced daikon. Cover. Simmer for 5 minutes until the daikon is cooked. Dissolve the miso in half a cup of the broth and place back into the pot. Heat the miso on very low heat for 2 more minutes. Do not boil after adding the miso to the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve garnished with minced scallion.
Feel free to change the vegetables, add tofu cubes or noodles for variety!