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miso soup

Karen Miller asked about miso; as far as I know it lasts forever in the
refrigerator, although I admit I would throw away anything that's a year
old.  Also, as I learned the hard way, *never* add miso to boiling water.
If miso boils, much of its flavor is lost (and perhaps nutrients are lost,
too?).  Instead, boil the soup, then turn off the heat, take some broth
from the pot, add it to the miso in a bowl, mix, and return the mixture to
the pot.  You can heat gently, but don't boil.

This prompts me to post one of my favorite meals these days.  It's flu
season in central New York, so I eat this immunity-strengthening soup at
least once a week, and more if I'm feeling run down.  It's good if you're
sick, it's anti-cancer, and it makes me happy.  Even a slow cook can make
it in 15 minutes.  For the greatest immunity-enhancing effect, use organic
foods and filtered water.

Japanese-style soup:
(Shamelessly adapted from Susun Weed's book _Breast Cancer? Breast Health!_)

Makes enough for one meal for a very hungry person (or to eat throughout
the day if you're sick and your appetite is sluggish).

One serving of udon or soba noodles, OR one package low-fat ramen noodles
Approx. two cups of water
One teaspoon grated ginger (or more to taste)
1 carrot, sliced
A handful of broccoli florets OR a cup of sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage
1/4 lb. tofu, cut into bite-sized chunks
2-4 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon miso (I use a mellow white or yellow miso)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or more to taste)
1 sliced scallion for garnish

(1a) If you're using dry udon or soba noodles, bring the water to a boil in
a large saucepan, add the noodles, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the

(1b) If you're using ramen noodles, bring the water to boil in a large
saucepan, and add the ramen when you add all the veggies.

(2) Once the water is boiling, add the ginger, carrot, broccoli or cabbage,
tofu, and shitake mushrooms.  Put a lid on the saucepan, lower the heat so
the soup simmers for five minutes.

(3) Meanwhile, mash the miso and vinegar in a bowl.  I use a medium-sized
mixing bowl--that's how much soup this recipe makes.

(4) When the noodles and veggies, etc., look tender, turn off the heat, and
add the contents of the saucepan to the bowl of miso and vinegar.  Stir to
dissolve the miso.  Taste and add more vinegar if you like.

(5) Garnish with scallion, and, if you like, one or two *drops* of dark
sesame oil.

(6) Eat with chopsticks and a big spoon.  

Note: I made this for my partner when he was sick.  He *hates* mushrooms,
so I added the mushrooms whole to the soup while it was cooking and then
extracted them (and ate them myself) before I served the soup.  That way he
got much of the nutritional value of the mushrooms in the broth, but he
didn't have to eat them.


Sara R. Ferguson
The Sage School of Philosophy
Goldwin Smith Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853			srf3@xxxxxxxxxxx