Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Soba and Miso Soup

Copyright 2011 LtDan'skitchen blogs
I had the craving for soup this weekend when the weather couldn't make up its mind and kept changing from rainy, to snowy then sunny all in one day. Since my favorite soups are usually made with meat to flavor the broth, I had to come up with something other than pea soup or roasted squash soup. Miso soup with soba noodles was a good choice since I have a tub of miso in my fridge and the fact that I found Soba noodles in my local Smith's (Kroger to those who live in the south). I just needed to amp it up and shrimp balls as a garnish seemed to be the way to go. Sadly, the shrimp balls were gone before I could take a picture to post them here. I also modified the recipe by not adding the lard and ginger.

Soba is either served as a cold noodle appetizer with a dipping sauce to flavor them or served in a hot broth with your choice of toppings. I went for the hot soup with the addition of a mix of wild mushrooms and  bamboo shoots topped with bean sprouts, green onions and a sprig of cilantro. A few reminders on how to prepare this soup: 

1.Cook the soba noodles as per packet instructions. 

2.Vegetable broth was my soup base and once at a simmer, add the   
   mushrooms and the bamboo shoots to cook them just until tender.  
   Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper. Miso is a bit salty so don't
   overdo the salt. A dash of ginger powder (or a slice of fresh ginger)
   can be added as well.

3.The miso is added at the very last minute with the pot off the stove.  
   Never overcook the miso as it loses its delicate flavor. Thin out a  
   couple of tablespoons of miso paste with about a cup of the broth and 
   return to the pot to mix. Check for flavor again.

4.To assemble the soup,  arrange a nest of the soba noodles in a bowl  
   and top with bean sprouts. Pour the broth and arrange the vegetables  
   on top of the noodles. Top with the green onions and a sprig of

5.Hold off on the the sesame oil. It is tempting to add it in but you lose  
   the delicate flavors by doing so.

6.Serve with shrimp meatballs. I had some extra cooked shrimps on  
   hand so I added that as well prior to adding the miso. 

Simple and light yet very elegant and tasty as well.

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