2 Live Stew (Miso-Horny)

Sock it to germs-ahh!

I realize I’m showing my age here with the dated musical reference … but since people are starting to hoard water and toilet paper in the wake of this virus scare, I decided to go looking into the best plant-based anti-viral foods. I already knew a bit about garlic, ginger, citrus, and spicy capsicum peppers, but I was happy to see miso, kale and shiitake mushrooms on that list. Yum. I sometimes forget how much I love miso – to an almost unseemly degree. You could call me miso-horny. I know I just shared a soup last time, but can you really have too many warm, stewy things during flu and virus season? Hopefully this spicy miso-infused brew will help you “2 live” healthily, giving you an immune and probiotic boost so you and your Purell-redolent loved ones can continue to enjoy your favorite indoor activities, seeing as everything else has been canceled until further notice.

Note: it’s important to add the miso slurry last, after the soup has come down somewhat from a boil, so you don’t kill off all the good probiotics. And since greasy miso isn’t the most desirable thing either, I used vegetable broth to saute the aromatics instead of oil.

Serves about 4, depending on how big the bowls are. I like big bowls and I cannot lie.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 shallots, depending on size, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, depending on size, minced or crushed
  • About 2″ ginger root, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 cups sliced Shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed (about 6-8 oz?)
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup mellow white miso
  • Bunch lacinato kale, tough spines removed, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 8 oz. pkgs shirataki white yam noodles (optional, can also used cooked rice noodles)*
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Saute the shallots, garlic, and ginger together in the vegetable broth over low-medium heat until the shallots are soft. Add the mushrooms and a few tablespoons of water if needed for moisture and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to shrink and soften. Add 6 cups of the water and bring to a boil. In the meantime, whisk the miso and the other 1/2 cup of water together in a bowl with a fork, adding the water gradually, so you wind up with a smooth mixture free of lumps. Drain the shirataki noodles, if using, and place them in very hot water for a few minutes to heat up. Once the soup is boiling, stir in the kale and serrano and turn off the heat, letting the kale wilt and the serrano cook in the broth for a few minutes before pouring in the miso slurry and mixing thoroughly.

Serve by putting 1/4 of the drained noodles in the bottom of a bowl and ladling the miso and vegetables over it. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Keeps refrigerated another day or two, but reheat it on the stove without bringing it to a boil if you don’t want to zap all the helpful beasties and nutrients away.

*There are all kinds of add-ins that would probably be tasty, besides noodles. You could add baked tofu, for instance, other sliced veggies like carrots that would add a bit of sweetness, or something like bok choy for a cooling crunch to counterbalance the heat.

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