Miso Soup: a soup that’s light enough for warmer months but still creamy enough to be comforting. Quite good for British spring-summer time, where days can quickly descend after a few precious hours of sunshine.
I adapted this from Makiko Itoh’s Hokkaido-style miso soup by adding a further British twist with soft, mild leeks and ham off the bone. A handful of fresh peas or broad beans stirred in at the end would be delicious, too. Maki also gives vegetarian and vegan alternatives in her original recipe.
However you decide to vary the soup, I’d keep it fairly light, staying away from too much cream to keep the balance of flavours and textures. I like it best with a pile of very crisp, fresh white bread, but of course you can have it how you like. This keeps well in the fridge for up to a week (reheat very gently) and makes about 6 servings.
- . 1 litre vegetable stock (fresh or from a stock cube)
- . 500 ml milk, preferably full-fat
- . 1 medium leek, finely sliced
- . 200g corn (tinned, fresh, or frozen)
- . 1 tablespoon butter
- . About 200g gammon, cut into chunks
- . 2 tablespoons red miso, adjusting to taste
- Bring the vegetable stock to the boil in a large saucepan.
- Meanwhile, in a frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat.
- When it's hot, add the sliced leeks and cook, stirring constantly, until the slices begin to fall apart into soft rings.
- Add leeks to the soup, simmering for a few minutes until just tender. They won't look particularly soft, but the texture will be very silky upon eating.
- In the same buttery frying pan, briefly sauté the corn before adding it to the soup.
- Pour in the milk, then put the gammon pieces into the soup.
- Bring back up to a gentle simmer.
- Finally, add the miso: pour a ladleful of soup into a small bowl or cup, then add 1 tablespoon miso to this portion of liquid, blending well with a spoon.
- Pour this mixture back into the soup, then taste to see if you want more miso.
- When you’re happy with the seasoning, serve the soup right away with bread or rice.