Monday, March 10, 2008

10.03.08: Rooty Miso

All weekend the forecasters kept predicting that heavy weather was imminent so, this morning, I thought I'd better make a proper hearty soup to insulate us all against low, low pressure. Plus, I've been intending to revisit my experiments with miso that began back with winter vegetables on 17.10.07, continued with various beans and pulses on 23.11.07, and reached some sort of a conclusion with root veggies on 10.12.07. Also, I wanted to have a go with Marigold Organic Instant Miso Bouillon Powder.

I bought this array of ingredients from Somerfield (swede, kale, carrots, potatoes) and Oli's (white radish, two types of turnips, 3 tins of kidney beans for a quid). I might say I spent a bit more than I usually do and then I spent £2.69 more at Baldwins for a tub of the aforementioned miso powder. Previously, I've mixed fresh miso paste into a soup stock made of Marigold bouillon and learned to add it last and then not to let the soup boil in order to preserve the precious enzymes as far as possible. But this powder is a whole lot easier to use and the 140g tub makes 7 litres, which is exactly how much I require. So, thanks once again, Marigold, and lets talk about sponsorship, eh?

To make the soup, I peeled and diced the swedes and turnips and radishes into centimetre cubes, put them in a roasting tray with a little vegetable oil, and roasted the dice on high heat for half and hour or forty minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally. Since this soup was not going to be blended, I took extra care chopping a finely diced mirepoix of leek instead of onion, with carrot and celery, plus half a dozen cloves of garlic, and sweated it in the bottom of the pot. I peeled six large white potatoes and steamed them for about half an hour, until they were cooked right through.

I assembled the soup by adding the roast root veg. to the mirepoix in the soup pot, covering with four litres of Marigold Miso, then squeezing the steamed potatoes through a ricer into the soup to thicken it, adding a further two litres of boiling miso bouillon, stirring, and finishing with shredded curly kale plus the last litre of miso. Looking back, shredded curly kale has been the green component of all four of my miso soups. To paraphrase Al Murray, all hail to the kale.

I garnished this rooty miso soup with fresh bean sprouts for crunch and served 21 people with at least 28 portions, as many had seconds. A bowl was left over for me to enjoy and, while I don't necessarily concur with the person who wrote in the dairy that this was the 'best so far', it was better than OK if I do say so myself.

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