Bowls of Morning Miso

Flipping through our well thumbed clinic copy of The Whole Foods Nutrition cookbook we were struck by the idea of Miso soup for breakfast. It seemed so odd, so out of place, and yet so completely perfect.  

A traditional Japanese breakfast, miso soup is cleansing, light, nourishing, and filled with beneficial bacteria. It stimulates your digestive system and is easily absorbed by your body. You will feel energized as you move through your day and your digestion will be grateful for the chance to rest and recharge in this month of darkness and renewal.

Because mornings can be a tough time to think about cooking we have structured the recipe so that you prep everything at the beginning of the week and then finish each bowl in the morning when you warm it up. 

Warming Miso Soup
adapted from the Whole Foods Nutrition Cookbook
by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

2 teaspoons toasted sesame or coconut oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or thin rounds
3-4 (shitake) mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or put through a garlic press
2 - 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups water
1 small strip wakame seaweed, broken into pieces

1 cup thinly sliced baby bok choy leaves
2 - 3 green onions, thinly sliced into rounds
2 - 3 tablespoons of gluten-free miso
wheat free tamari or coconut aminos
brown rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar
hot pepper sesame oil or chilli flakes

optional:
4 organic eggs

Heat the toasted sesame oil in a 3-quart pot over medium heat. (If you use coconut oil you will lose the rich depth of flavour that sesame oil brings). Add the carrots, mushrooms, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2-3 minutes, being careful not to brown the vegetables. Add the water and wakame seaweed and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. 

At this point you can continue with one large batch if you will be serving 4, or continue as instructed for individual bowls of morning miso. 

For a large batch: turn off the heat and add the bok choy, green onions and miso that has been mixed with a little water. Then add 1-2 tablespoons of tamari, 1 tablespoon of vinegar of your choice and 2-3 teaspoons of hot pepper sesame oil (or chilli flakes to taste).

For individual bowls: Put your sliced bok choy and green onions in airtight containers in your fridge. You can add a bit of water to help keep them crisp. 

Bring a cup of broth to a boil in the morning, turn off the heat and add a 1/4 cup of bok choy, a good sprinkle of green onions and 2-3 teaspoons of miso that has been mixed with a little water. Garnish to taste with tamari, vinegar and chillies. 

Optional to add a poached egg to your bowl or to make your miso into egg drop soup by cracking an egg into the broth just before the heat is turned off. 

Tomato Chickpea Coconut Soup

Yay!  Soup season has arrived.   I like to make large batches and freeze extra portions in mason jars.  I am also very much into soups that are blended so that chopping with a little person on my hip is minimal.   This one is delicious.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

▪   1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

▪   1 small yellow onion, chopped

▪   2 big garlic cloves, no need to chop

▪   1 teaspoon smoked paprika (sometimes I use sweet paprika)

▪   salt, pepper

▪   splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar (approximately 1 tablespoon)

▪   1 14-oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juice

▪   fresh thyme - leaves from 2 sprigs, or ½ tsp dried

▪   1 cup cooked chickpeas (rinsed, drained)

▪   1 cup coconut milk, full fat tastes best

▪   1.5 cups water or vegetable or chicken broth

Instructions

Heat oil in a medium pot. Add the onion, garlic a few pinches of salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the paprika and cook until fragrant (30 seconds or so). Add a good splash of balsamic vinegar and stir. Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves. Stir, then add the chickpeas, coconut milk and water. Cover and gently simmer for 20-30 minutes. Uncover and let cool slightly.

Transfer to a blender and puree.

Note: This soup tastes even better the next day so it is a great one to make in advance.