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Recipe by Jonathan Grumbles
Yields 6-8 servings or 2 quarts
1 stick Kombu (dry seaweed)
8 medium shitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved and caps cut into thin slices
2 quarter-sized spring onions, tops removed and sliced on bias into thin slices
1 medium-sized carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick discs
8 cups water
1 piece Wakame seaweed, cut in thin strips
1/3 cup shoyu or tamari
1/8 cup brown rice vinegar
1/2 lb tofu cut into 1-inch cubes
6-8 asparagus spears, bottoms snapped off and discarded and rest cut thinly on bias
1 cup snow peas, ends trimmed off
8-10 Tbsp mellow white miso
1/2 bunch watercress, chopped, or 1 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed well
1. Combine Kombu, shitake stems, spring onion bulbs, carrot and water in a medium-sized stock pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Once all other ingredients are ready, either fish out the stock ingredients with a hand-held strainer or pour stock through a sieve into another stock pot.
3. Add shitake slices, Wakame strips, shoyu and brown rice vinegar to the stock. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
4. Add tofu and simmer for 5 more minutes.
5. Add asparagus, snow peas, and spring onion tops. Remove 1 cup broth and combine with miso, making sure to stir well so there are no clumps. Add the miso stock back to rest of the soup and simmer for 5 minutes more over low heat. Be careful not to boil as this destroys the beneficial properties of the Miso cultures.
6. Remove the soup from heat and add in the watercress or spinach. Serve.