In a world of bad soups, salvation has come (if you can find the ingredients).
Soup is the superior food group. There’s absolutely nothing that comes close to the majesty of a warm bowl of love during a cold day (or a hot one, for that matter). Maybe I’m a little bit insane, but I’ve been spotted and convicted of eating soup in 105 degree heat (love you, Los Angeles summers) because it’s just that delicious.
We’re now well into soup season (which is kind of a myth, by the way, soup is always good all year round), and I thought I’d share my first dorm cooking experience of making miso soup on a Sunday night and not being able to finish it, begging my building’s GroupMe to come taste the soup and allow me to sleep peacefully.
This post also goes out to the unfortunate author of this article. I’m so sorry. It’s over now. You never have to make such bad soup again.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this miso soup (all of these ingredients are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at HMart):
- ½ cup white miso paste: You can try other kinds of miso, but don’t be surprised if it tastes like Poseidon’s salty [redacted].
- 2 ounces kombu dried seaweed: The key to enlightenment.
- 4 tbsp dried wakame seaweed: Another delicious sea plant for your soup enjoyment.
- 8 ounces tofu: Preferably silken tofu for less textural weirdness and a really satisfying time cutting it up. I’ve made this plenty of times with firm tofu and it works if you’re in a pinch.
- 3-4 scallions: Yummy onion, onion yummy.
- (optional) 2 ounces dried bonito flakes: This makes the recipe no longer vegan, but adds extreme flavor to the soup. Make sure to analyze whether the flavor of the soup can repair your broken relationships with your floormates, compromised of course by the smell of decomposing fish in your kitchen trash can (if you use these, get them out of your building and out of your life the second you’re done with them, thank me later).
Cooking the soup!
- Pour 8 cups of water into a medium-to-large sized pot. After wiping off anything shiny that may or may not be on the kombu, add it to the water and crank the heat for approximately 12 minutes or until bubbles come to the surface. Remove after this point. The concoction you’ve made here is called dashi, and it tastes like God. It (and its many variations) are used in a ton of East Asian cooking, namely Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines.
- If you’re using bonito flakes, now’s the time. Pour them into the broth and stir, removing any scum that comes to the surface. Let them steep for one to two minutes then remove. This will require a sieve if you’re like me and can’t be asked to filter the broth through a cheesecloth or something like that. Don’t worry about getting every tiny partially-dissolved particle out, it’ll still taste good.
- Drain the tofu, then slice it along with the scallions into small pieces. No need to be meticulous, it’s not like things need to cook evenly in this soup. I had to cut these on a paper plate, which was incredibly scuffed and got very soggy by the end. Would not recommend.
- Combine the wakame with about a cup of water and let it rehydrate for about five minutes before draining. Use whatever vessel makes you happy.
- Remove a cup or two of the dashi/yummy seaweed water from the main pot to a bowl. Add the miso paste and whisk until there are no clumps.
- Combine everything in the pot and serve!
There you have it! Tasty soup! Before eating, there are a variety of things you can add, such as a dash of rice wine vinegar (my beloved), mitsuba (like Japanese parsley), ginger, yuzu, sesame seed, and whatever else your heart desires. And before I go, just remember:
Dorm Kitchen Miso Soup via Author
Sad Truth via Reddit u/Icy-Cauliflower-2964