You know what I love? When you order a sushi plate and it comes with a bowl of miso soup. Not kidding, just now, typing miso made my mouth literally water. Talk about umami bomb. Trouble is, though, it’s always just a starter, meaning, basically, not enough to make me happy. So I decided to do a loaded up version to boost it into dinner territory. Don’t get me wrong – I love that light broth with the soft little tofu cubes bobbing amidst floating seaweed. I just wanted it to become a meal. All it needs for that is a bunch of veggies, some chicken, some shrimp, mmmm…ok.
But… it also has to be quick and easy. Weeknight dinner. No ingredients that are too inaccessible. This translated into a not totally regular soup. Usually miso soup is made with a dashi broth, which I find not always easy to get my hands on. Sure, I could make it but also can’t always find bonito and/or kombu. I almost always have miso paste, though, and can find it in many grocery stores. So instead of dashi I add depth with mushrooms and cooking the chicken in the pot first to get the flavor of the fond. Beyond that, this whips up quick and easy, a perfectly satisfying weeknight meal. Try your hand at it and tell me if it makes you as happy and cozy as it does me.
Loaded Miso Soup
1 lb chicken breast
½ lb cooked shrimp
10 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
6 cups chicken stock (or a mix or stock and water)
⅓ cup miso paste
Place a wide bottomed pot over medium high heat with a bit of oil. Salt the chicken breast and place it into the heated pot. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on one side, flip and cook another 4-5 with a lid on. When it is cooked through, remove the chicken from the pot, slicing after a short rest. If there is any tasty business on the bottom of the pan, deglaze it with a splash of stock. Toss in the mushrooms and cook these for about five minutes. Add the carrots and cook a few minutes more. Stir in the miso then add the 6 cups of liquid, stirring to combine. Add the peas and shrimp, as well as the chicken. Feel free to add more miso if you like a stronger flavor.