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Abrazos! xox Penny

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicken Soup Redux

This is how I felt for several days last week. I had a headache to beat the band. We had a lot of storm systems roll through here and every one rocked and rolled through my head. Between my head and curly hair, who needs The Weather Channel? I am a walking weather report. Rarely under the weather, I was growing increasingly annoyed with the heat, humidity, storms and my headache-y malaise. I needed some chicken go-to remedy for almost everything. Soup, especially chicken soup, really relieves my barometricly induced head pressure. But, here's the rub. I don't eat chicken any more.

Fueled by pain, my curiosity kicked into overdrive. I remembered having some delicious miso soup last spring. There is a farmstand of sorts near Mom that serves miso soup in its take-out area. It is wonderful and very nourishing, and made with fermented organic soy, not the scary stuff. Sounded like the perfect soup to soothe me and help me learn something new. I am not very experienced in Asian foods...there are just a few Asian recipes on this blog and so pursuing miso soup looked like a win-win.  Just a note: There is so much hype out there about soy. It is in everything and so, be aware. You only want organic tofu and fermented soy products like miso, tamari and tempeh. Steer clear of as many soy protein isolates as you can...they usually have high fructose corn syrup and other bad actors in their mix.

I made a big batch and tweaked it throughout the week, adding in chopped green onions, leftover soba noodles, a few chunks of tofu and some baby bok choy.  Every day it was a little different and gave me the fix and relief I needed. It was all gone (and so was my headache) before I got to try out a bunch of other add-in's that would be good, like broccoli and mushrooms. Next time. The miso I had on hand also had a "per serving" recipe enclosed, if you don't want a whole pot full! Just like chicken soup, there are tons of recipes for miso play.


Soothing Miso Soup 

The ingredients were easy to find at the grocery (International Food aisle for wakame and refrigerated case for reasonably priced miso) and I even found the wakame at a drug store.

1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced 
3-4 carrots, julienned
3 T wakame, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes*
1 cup white miso (you can also use red or brown)

In a soup pot, combine 6 cups of  water, onion, carrots and wakame. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add one cup of water to miso (it is a paste) and blend thoroughly. Add miso to soup and heat through to warm miso but do not boil! Miso loses some of its healing magic if it boils.
Serves 5-6.

*Wakame is a sea vegetable and comes in dried form and was new to me! Click on the picture and it should enlarge it so you can read what's on the package better. You rehydrate it by soaking in cool water for 5 minutes. The directions are on the bag. I used 3T from about a $4 bag and there is tons left for lots more soup. Wakame adds a nice salty/sweet favor.


  1. Penny, can you clarify what wakame is?

  2. It is a sea veggie. The kind I found is in the picture. A whole bag full (lots of soup batches)less tha $4. Hope that helps!