This soup is healthy, tasty, comes together in a short space of time and fills you right up. As the nights grow darker and often colder too, one’s mind naturally turns to comforting, warming soup. To be honest with you though, I make this at any time of year ’cause it’s so easy and yummy.
The miso paste I used for this was the stuff out of Tesco, but Sainsbury’s do a nice one and there are various brown rice misos you can get from health food shops. Whatever one you choose, the rule of thumb is generally one tablespoon of miso paste to 500ml liquid (in this case, vegetable stock). Have a play around with different ones and see which one you like best. Miso paste is generally with the Asian foods, or sometimes next to speciality ingredients in supermarkets.
You can also add any veg you like really – this is a really flexible recipe. Beansprouts would work well in place of noodles if that takes your fancy and really any green veg from cabbage to broccoli would be a winner here. Have fun!
2 tablespoons miso paste
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 onion, sliced into half moons (top and tail, cut onion down the centre, then slice up lengthways)
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 bunches of pak choi, roughly chopped
1 block of firm tofu
2 vegetable stock cubes (to make 1 litre of stock)
2 handfuls of mange tout
1 handful of kale
2 or 3 spring onions
A packet of flat rice noodles (2 servings)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Here’s how I do it:
Spoon your miso paste into a large pot (one that can take at least a litre and a half, to cater for all your lovely chunky ingredients).
Add the pepper and onion, garlic and ginger and put on to heat at a low temperature. Mix it all around and pop in the chopped stalks of pak choi (we’ll add the leaves a bit later.)
Pop your stock cubes into a measuring jug, boil a litre of water in a kettle and pour over to dissolve your two stock cubes. If the mixture in the pot is sizzling, just add a splash of your liquid.
While boiling and dissolving is going on, drain your tofu and press most of the moisture out of it over a sink. Transfer it to a chopping board and cube it with a sharp knife.
This is easily done. Just turn it on its long edge and cut down the middle. Now, lay it flat and cut four times lengthways and three times across.
Now it’s time to add the dissolved stock to the pot, along with the tofu. Add in the kale, mange tout, leftover pak choi leaves and spring onions at this point and give it all a good stir.
Give it five to ten minutes to let the veg soften and the tofu to absorb the flavours.
Add in the flat rice noodles (breaking them apart as you do so with your hands) and the soy sauce. This is the time to stir again and then give it a taste. (If it’s too salty for you, add some agave nectar or maple syrup if you have some and that should mellow it down.)
Although the soup is now ready to serve, sometimes the flavours really start to come through after you’ve left it for a while, so this is a good one to make in advance. Also, the liquid can soak into the tofu and veg over time, so you may need to add a bit more stock/water when you heat it up after leaving it for a bit.