Miso Soup for Breakfast

From Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 serving, easily multiplied
In Japan, miso soup is a traditional breakfast food–sipped hot, directly from the bowl. As complex in flavor as it is simple to prepare, a single portion of miso soup can be put together in roughly the same amount of time it takes to brew a cup of tea. Try transferring the soup to a wide-neck thermos and taking it to work with you. I can't think of a more soothing and fortifying way to start the day, especially in winter.

If you are too hurried to make even this simple recipe–or you don't have the ingredients on hand–there are some very good brands of instant miso soup powder available. They come in single-serving packets, and all you need to do is add hot water and stir. Consider keeping a stash at work, for midmorning nourishment

  • The best type of miso to use for breakfast soup is "shiro" or "mellow white."
  • Although miso soup stores and reheats well, some of the beneficial enzymes in the miso will be destroyed if the soup is boiled. So if you reheat it, do so gently.

1 cup water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon light-colored miso
1 to 2 tablespoons diced silken tofu (tiny pieces)
1 small scallion, very finely minced
  1. Heat the water or broth until it reaches a boil. Place the miso in a generously sized single-serving bowl, and pour in about one third of the hot water or broth. Mash and stir until the mixture becomes smooth.
  2. Add the remaining hot liquid, along with the tofu and scallion. Serve right away.

A Heartier Miso Soup

Miso soup is delicious plain, sipped like a hot beverage. You can also make it into a heartier meal by adding any or all of the following:

A few spoonfuls of cooked grains (wild rice or barley are especially nice)
A poached egg
A handful of daikon sprouts or radish sprouts
Wakame (a sea vegetable that is sold dried), soaked in water for 15 minutes, or until tender
A few small spinach leaves