Since the mornings and evenings have been so cool here, we’ve been turning to soup to keep us warm. I’ve been trying to incorporate more Japanese food into my diet, mostly because it’s such clean food and with the summer we had we’re due for some purification. Naturally, these two inclinations have led me to miso.
So many of you were enthusiastic about my miso soup for breakfast post on Instagram that I thought I’d share another of my new miso soup discoveries: hearty miso soup with soba. This is my take on Mark Bittman’s recipe, which you can check out in his VB6 book (it’s awesome!). His version doesn’t include soba, but I can’t resist. Since soba is made with the seed of the buckwheat, it’s naturally gluten-free but satisfyingly noodle-y. The butternut squash and cabbage give it a distinctly autumnal flavor.
Miso soup base:
4 cups water
2 handfuls bonito flakes
5 tablespoons white miso paste
The hearty part:
1/2 to 1 pound butternut squash or pumpkin, in 1″ cubes
1/2 Napa cabbage
4 oz. soba
Optional: Green onion, salt, pepper
1. Boil the water and add in the bonito flakes. Turn heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through. Place the broth back in the saucepan and keep it on low. Congrats! You’ve just made dashi, which is an integral part of Japanese cooking. Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
2. In a small bowl, add the miso paste and pour a ladle full of broth over it. Whisk the miso and broth together until well combined. Add the mixture back to the broth. Remove from heat and cover with a lid. (Never boil miso soup. It ruins the flavor.)
3. Add the squash to the large pot of boiling water for about 10-15 minutes until tender. Add the cabbage and cook for 3 minutes. Strain over a bowl and reserve the cooking water. Season the veggies with salt and pepper, as desired.
4. Add the cooking water back to the pot. Put the soba noodles in the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. Strain and serve immediately with the miso soup, squash, cabbage, and green onion. Feel warm and cozy–and healthy!