Make your own miso soup

You've heard the phrase, 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away.' But in Japan, you may hear another claim: 'miso soup every day keeps the doctor away.' 

Miso is a staple in Japanese cuisine, and has a long list of health benefits. The magic is in the bean paste, which is fermented for up to three years. 

If you're a frequent visitor to the Lansdowne Park farmers market, you might already know Etsuko Inoue. The owner of Kamosu-Miso sells her miso pastes there, and at Herb & Spice on Bank Street.

Those pastes, she said, take three years to ferment. Here's a soup recipe she she shared on CBC Ottawa's All In A Day:

Miso soup 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water.
  • 2 inches kombu (dried kelp).
  • Your choice of vegetables including a carrot, half an onion, a potato or 3 inches of white daikon radish, all uniformly sliced in quarter-inch pieces.
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced.
  • 3 leaves napa cabbage, thinly sliced.
  • ½ cup silken tofu, cubed.
  • 4 tbsp. miso paste

Directions:

Pour water into a sauce pan and add kombu (optional). Add the root vegetables and mushrooms first; cook on medium until fork-soft. Add cabbage and tofu and cook for three minutes. Turn off heat. Put half cup of the liquid from the saucepan into a bowl and stir in the miso until dissolved. Then put it back into the saucepan. Serves four.