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my 2 yen on miso soup :-)

You may care (or not) that usually miso soup is made with fish stock, 
especially in a restaurant.  You can make it with kombu dashi (or 
veggie bouillon or even plain water), but fish base is used in the 
traditional recipe.

When I make it at home, I am lazy and usually just use water....
I just have to add a little extra miso.  I just boil or blanch any 
hard to cook vegies you want in the soup (thin sliced eggplant
and julienned daikon are my favorites, also try thinly sliced 
potatoes!) til soft.  Take pot of heat and dissolve some miso in
a little of the water (I mix in a ladle and pour it back in to
the pot when dissolved).  Add any ingredients that only need to
heat briefly (e.g. cubed tofu, wakame) then heat for a few minutes.
DO NOT BOIL (I've heard it destroys the enzymes in miso, my mom 
just says boiling changes the taste :-)

Sliced scallions are a nice touch to sprinkle on each serving.

Hope this helps.

Aiko Pinkoski

PS. As far as I know, there is no such thing as NONFAT miso!!!! 
However, a bowl of miso soup probably doesn't contain enough fat 
to worry about (IMHO), because a few tablespoons will season a 
whole pot.  There are a few Japanese sauces that use a LOT of
miso, but usually only a little bit is used at a time, so I think
that is why most labeling gets away with saying each portion has
"0g" fat.  

However, if I'm wrong I would LOVE to see a brandname of nonfat miso.
I can then make the heavy miso sauces again!