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Miso soup

Japanese cuisine is great for vegans. I'm cooking more and more Japanese dishes nowadays. Soon I will even be able to produce a decent maki roll. Anyway - here is a simple miso soup that is health-giving and uplifting.

Make a Dashi stock. I use mushrooms usually. If I have dried Shiitake mushrooms I use those. But you can get good results from ordinary fresh mushrooms. Another option is Kombu - but I like this less. So here we go:

With fresh mushrooms I like the smallish brown ones best. Take five or six mushrooms, wipe them over, halve or quarter (depending on size). Set 1 litre (4 to 5 cups) of water to boil. Add the mushrooms. When the water comes to a boil, turn very low and leave to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon (I save them to use later in something else).

With dried Shiitake mushrooms, use about five or six - say about 25g (1 oz). Bring 1 litre (4 or 5 cups) of water to the boil and pop the mushrooms in. Turn off the heat and leave to soak for about 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon (again, I save them to use later in something else).

Add about 250g (8 ozs) of Tofu, cut into 12mm (1/2") cubes and about 1 tsp of soy sauce, to the Dashi and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile take 3 or 4 spring onions (scallions) and slice them very fine (about 3mm - 1/8" slices), both the white and the good green parts. Add the scallions to the Dashi and Tofu.

You will need 3 - 4 tbsp of miso – I like the sweet white miso best, but brown miso does just fine; it is just a bit more robust in flavour. Scoop out a ladle of the dashi and mix it with the miso to make a smooth liquid paste. Add this back to the Dashi and heat very gently for a couple of minutes. DO NOT BOIL .

Serve – preferably in those nice little japanese lacquer bowls, but otherwise in as fine a small bowl that you have. Enjoy. Feel uplifted and calmed. Peace.


Actually I have been using some Wakami or Dulse in my Miso soups recently - just adding a small quantity (3 or four strips), washed and cut fairly small, at the same time as I add the Tofu etc.

Even more delicious!
Date posted: Sunday, 08 Feb 2009 | posted by: debenriver

As a vegan have you tried going the extra mile and only eating raw?

I went to the Hippocrates Institute in West Palm Beach some years ago. I felt a bit of a fraud as I only attended to lose some weight and "detox". Most of the people there were suffering from serious illnesses. The Hippocrates philosophy is founded on the belief that a pure enzyme-rich organic raw diet, complemented by positive thinking and non-invasive therapies, are the essential elements for optimum health. The evidence for this was there before my eyes. I saw seriously sick people improve. People that had been previously written off by conventional medicine. There is proper science behind the theory and it seems to work.

Being an atheist the only bit I did not buy was the spiritual bit. However, it is important to have a positive mental attitude and I think that Brian Clement (the leader of the Institute) uses faith as a vehicle to achieve this. I guess this works for many Americans.

The hard bit is sustaining such a lifestyle once you leave the Institute. It’s one thing to follow such a diet in the warm luxury of West Palm Beach but quite another to sustain it in colder bleaker climes. Most attendees find their own compromise. Personally I would not like to live without wine. Others cling on to their own particular pleasures.

However, there is one thing for sure. If I am ever struck by the dreaded cancer or some other serious disease I would shun chemical and radiotherapy and head straight back to Hippocrates.
Date posted: Wednesday, 11 Feb 2009 | posted by: villablanca

I've never really tried the extra mile! Though I would have a good try at defining wine as raw - after all it isn't cooked, now is it?

In the real world it is pretty hard to be so exclusive - bad enough being a vegan - but at least there are very good arguments for that (ethics, cruelty, global warming, health, economics - to name but five). Insisting on raw does seem a bit over the top - except as you say in the warm luxury of Palm Beach or similar.

I don't go for faith either. My problem with (religious/spiritual) faith is that it in me engenders at best annoyance and at worst suspicion of charlantry (is that a word??). It seems to me that far too many priests and 'religious' leaders have really dubious personal lifestyles which are at serious odds with the 'message' they are purveying. Ho-hum ....
Date posted: Thursday, 12 Feb 2009 | posted by: debenriver

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