Miso is one of the most versatile ingredients to work with in vegetarian cuisine -- it can be used as a marinade, dressing, in side sauces or most commonly, as a soup base. This is a fantastic dish that only takes about 15 minutes to make, and can be used either as a light starter or an easy main course if you want something nutritious and comforting. The miso paste can be adjusted depending on your taste, and the vegetables can be switched around to your liking. This is how I was taught to make it, and very similar to what I've had in most Japanese restaurants.
The zucchini can be left out completely, but I just love the soba-like effect of spiralized zucchini noodles in this particular soup. It adds a nice texture on top of the nutritional punch it packs.
You will need:
1/4 cup miso paste
1/3 cup warm water
4 cups water
2 tbsp tamari sauce
1 scallion, sliced
1 handful sliced white or Cremini mushrooms (about 3-4 whole mushrooms)
1 small zucchini, spiralized
4 oz tofu, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
In a small bowl, whisk together the miso paste and warm water. Set aside.
In a medium sized saucepan, heat the olive oil, scallions, tofu, and mushrooms over medium heat. Sautee them all together until the mixture becomes fragrant and the tofu begins to brown on more than one side. Add the water and tamari sauce and bring to a strong simmer, then add the zucchini noodles. Cook until the zucchini is at the desired texture -- 4-5 minutes if you want more crisp noodles, 7-8 for softer noodles. Once you've gotten the zucchini cooked, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Thoroughly stir and add the miso paste while the soup is still hot but not simmering. Serve immediately.