Miso Soup For Immunity!
Miso is an almost magical food with amazing healing properties. But the best thing about it is how great it tastes, and how easy it is to use.
I started using miso in my idealistic “macro” years, buying only the best heirloom brands, made by the same family for generations. Traditionally miso is made by a complex fermentation process involving rice, soybeans, salt, and special blend of bacteria. The process can take anywhere from 2 months to 3 years.
Nowadays, other beans are also being used for the base: chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and adukis are a few of the choices for those avoiding soy.
What’s produced in the end is a rich fragrant, very salty paste with tons of umami flavor. It can come in shades from yellow to brown to almost black, be super sweet to almost bitter, and smell like the best parmesan cheese or the richest beef broth.
Tasting these miso’s is like learning about fine wines. An endlessly fascinating journey into science, taste and pleasure. Miso making is really an art, the fruits of which add a whole new dimension to our lives.
For this blog I am going to focus on how you can easily use miso to boost your immunity. Miso, or miso paste as it is sometimes called, is most often used as a base for soups. But is can also be used in sauces and dressings – your imagination is the only limitation!
The enzymes and microorganisms in miso support healthy digestion and a good gut ecosystem, which is central to a strong immune system. Eaten regularly it enhances our ability to fight off colds and infections, even cancer.
It’s important not to boil miso. If you do, many of the healing properties will be ruined.
This is hands down the easiest way to have miso. It’s like drinking a cup of the best broth. Miso is a great food for vegetarians. It adds a huge boost of umami flavors to soups and sauces which are usually only found in meat broths.
1-3 tsp miso
1 cup boiling water
- add the water to the cup first, so it can cool for a few seconds, and then add the miso
- stir until completely dissolved
- taste and add more as needed – drink while hot
You can also get instant miso –
I carry one of these in my purse when I am traveling – just add hot water. Great for keeping your immunity up while flying!
There is no exact recipe for miso soup as far as I am concerned! It depends on what you have in the fridge and how much time you have.
Classic – a classic way to make miso soup is
- boil a pot of water, add sliced onion, carrot, radish, and shiitake mushrooms (dried or fresh), some tofu cubes, and a small strip of wakame or kelp seaweed.
- boil for a few minutes until tender
- turn heat off or on low, then add miso to taste – the best way to mix miso is to take some of the soup broth is a cup or jar and then dissolve it by whisking of shaking it, then add it to the soup
- serve with sliced scallions on top
- when reheating, be sure not to boil
- use a combination of veggies, these are my favs: onions or leeks, mushrooms, carrots, radish, cabbage or greens, winter squash
- chop them into a size that pleases you
- sauté them in a little grapeseed oil with a teaspoon or two of toasted sesame oil added. This adds a beautiful rich flavor to the soup.
- add enough water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender
- add miso to taste – the best way to mix miso is to take some of the soup broth is a cup or jar and then dissolve it by whisking of shaking it, then add it to the soup
- garnish with toasted seeds and scallions or chives
Options: add chili or ginger, bonita flakes, tofu
Eat and enjoy the benefits!