Miso Soup with Pork

The first time I tried Miso soup was during a trip to Japan and I was smitten! Once back home, I worked with different recipes until I was able to reproduce the flavor of the soup I enjoyed during my stay in Tokyo. This soup is darn close. It's difficult to describe the flavor of Miso ... I want to say that it is slightly smoky ... ever so slightly ... actually it's a complex flavor that pairs exceedingly well with the veggies featured here.

I promise you, this soup is delicious... Japanese people say they could live on miso soup and a bowl of rice... give it a try! ... You'll find yourself saying words that you never thought you would say: "I'm craving Miso soup."

Here's what you'll need:

10 slices of bacon, cooked slightly; yielding a soft not crunchy slice. I use a thick sliced applewood smoked bacon.

2 c of daikon root chopped. Daikon root is a thick, white root vegetable that has a mild radish flavor.

3 large sweet potato chopped. While sweet potatoes are preferred, it's OK to use yams, if you have them on hand.

2 c of sliced carrots

4 baby bok choy heads sliced

Marukome Boy brand Miso paste (available at Asian Markets)

1 c onions chopped

1/2 c or more of sliced scallions

Japanese Somen buckwheat Noodles

Let's get started...

Cook Bacon for a short time...until slightly browned but still soft. Drain on paper towel. Once cooled slice it into 1 inch pieces. (kitchen shears are the perfect tool)

Pour bacon grease through wired colander to catch bits and return to pan. (don't freak .. a little bacon grease once in a blue moon isn't the end of the world - if you just can't go down this road - substitute olive oil)

Add onion, daikon root, sweet potato and carrots and cook over medium heat just until the veggies get lightly browned.

Add sliced bacon.

Add 10-12 cups of water and 7 ounces of miso paste.

Add sliced bok choy

Simmer for 2 hours or so - scraping off any foam with a spoon..

While soup is cooking, boil a quart of water and add a 1 inch diameter (in thickness) amount of the Hakubaku brand Japanese Somen Wheat noodles. They will cook up in about two minutes. Drain noodles and set aside. Break the noodles in half before tossing them into the boiling water.

*SPECIAL NOTE: Somen noodles are great in and out of soup! To serve Somen noodles as a side dish for another meal - prepare as directed, but add a teaspoon of grated ginger for each 1/3 c of cooked noodles along with scallions for garnish. These noodles are a great base for adding meat or veggies. Enjoy!*

To serve:

Place a small amount of Somen noodles in the bowl

Ladle in the soup

top with scallions

Additional use for Soba Buckwheat noodles.

Veggie Mix for Miso Soup

Miso Paste

Simmering Miso Soup

Baby Bok Chop, Chopped Baby Bok Choy and Power Greens