Miso Noodle Soup is my vegetarian equivalent to chicken noodle soup when I am starting to feel poorly. Miso is delicious and packed with nutrition. It is a traditional ingredient used in Japanese cooking. Miso is made by fermenting soy beans with salt and koji, which are cultured grains such as rice, barley, and soy beans. This results in a paste that is packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, anti-oxidants and full of friendly bacteria for your digestive system.

The key to cooking with miso, is to not cook with it, add it in last if making a hot dish. In this recipe I stir the miso into the broth after the soup has finished cooking and then add it back in. Do not boil miso as this will kill the friendly bacteria and reduce the other health benefits.

Miso Noodle Soup

Serves 4

100g soba noodles (udon noodles work too)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into thick matchsticks
1/2 small chinese cabbage, thinly sliced
1 long shallot, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced diagonally
1 small head broccoli, separated into small florets
100g fresh baby spinach
1 block smoked tofu, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 litre vegetable stock
4 tbsp brown miso
2 sheets nori, cut into thin short strips

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add soba noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes, or as directed on package, then drain.

In a large pot, bring vegetable stock to a boil, add carrots, chinese cabbage, celery, shallot. Return the pot to a boil, cover, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add broccoli, spinach and tofu, cover and cook for another 5 minutes then remove from the heat.

Place miso in a bowl and add two ladles of broth from the pot. Stir until smooth then addd back to the pot. Make sure the soup does not boil after the miso has been added.
 Stir in most of the nori and leave a bit out for garnish.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with some noodles and a bit of the remaining nori.

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