This simple Japanese-inspired soup includes some nurturing pantry staples as well as the medicinal culinary herbs garlic and ginger.
- L/D Lunch/Dinner
- DF Dairy free
- GF Gluten free
- Ve Vegan
- VG Vegetarian
- HH Heart-healthy
- Prep time 20 mins
- Cook Time 25 mins
- Serves 2-3, generously
- Difficulty medium
- Place mushrooms in bowl, cover with warm water and a plate (to stop them floating), soak for 20-30 minutes. Drain. The liquid can be kept and included in the 5 cups used later in this recipe or kept for stock (don't use the solids collected at the bottom). Cut mushrooms in 3-4 slices, remove stems.
- While mushrooms soak, separate bok choy into white stalks and green leaves. Cut stalks into 1cm slices. Slice spring onions, including green tops.
- Heat a saucepan to medium heat, add olive oil. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- Add bok choy stalks, cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add ginger, garlic and spring onions (reserving some of the sliced green tops), cook for another minute. Add an extra dash of oil or some mushroom stock if sticking to saucepan.
- Add 5 cups water or water and mushroom stock. Scoop some of the water into a small bowl and dissolve the miso paste, ensuring there are no lumps, then add this mixture to the saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer with lid on for 12-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles in a separate pot of boiling water.
- Once soup has simmered as required, add bok choy leaves, reserved spring onion tops, noodles, mirin, tamari and sesame oil. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Using tongs, divide noodles and vegetables into 2-3 bowls. Spoon in the soup, serve with a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
For a heartier soup and extra protein, add slices of pan-fried chicken breast, marinated in tamari and ginger; or to keep it vegan, add tofu cubes when adding water.
By Jean Hailes naturopath and herbalist Sandra Villella
Eating well is a continuous investment in your wellbeing and future. It can also be time consuming. So this simple Japanese-inspired soup includes several ingredients that can be pantry staples, some especially nurturing ones, and a few fresh ingredients, including the medicinal culinary herbs, garlic and ginger.
Shiitake mushrooms contain vitamin B12 and polysaccharides called ß-glucans, which appear to have health benefits including improving the immune system and helping to lower cholesterol.
Miso, made by fermenting soy beans with salt and koji, is a staple of the Japanese diet. While it is often criticised for being salty, a recent study that followed 14,764 Japanese men and women over 20 years showed miso is related to lower blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke in this population.