Miso Soup with Radish

The first of the garden goods to come in are invariably the radishes.  Their bounty will continue, successively sown multiple times, given their remarkably rapid growth (the fastest of all vegetables!)  Radishes are mostly regarded as the stuff of salad – but they also make an excellent addition to soup as seen here, and can be roasted or pan-fried should the desire arise.  Complete cooking of the radish removes it’s bite, making it mellow to the taste, while adding it at the finish or eating it raw preserves it’s signature spice.  The greens are also edible, however sticking to the young greens is advised since the older ones – particularly if they’ve weathered a heatwave or two – can get tough and bitter.

This is one of my favourite ways to enjoy the first of the radishes that are ready.  Measurements are variable, and most of the ingredients are optional, and big bonus: it’s fast to make.

Yield: 1 large bowlful

What you need:

  • 2 cups water or unsalted vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons red miso (the amount will depend on how salty the miso is and how salty you like your soup)
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root (optional)
  • 1 large radish with greens, sliced finely crosswise

What you do:

  1. Heat the water or broth until very hot, but not boiling.  You want to avoid boiling the miso to keep the enzymes alive and well.
  2. In a small bowl or cup, whisk the miso with a few tablespoons of the hot broth until smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the heated broth and mix well.  Add the lemon juice and ginger root if using.
  3. Place the sliced radish and greens in a large bowl and pour the miso soup on top.
  4. Serve.

Variations:

  • Garnish with sliced scallion and toasted sesame seeds;
  • Make it into a meal by adding some tofu and mushrooms sautéed in a bit of sesame oil;
  • Or another meal option is to add a bundle of cooked soba and two or three slices of grilled eggplant or zucchini to the bowl.

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