Fresh and dried mushrooms make this soup flavorful and packed with nutrients.
Mushroom soup is earthy and satisfying. Miso soup is also filled with great flavor and comfort. Combined, I think they are delightful together, really complex in flavor, and satisfying to the bone!
Bunapi shimeji mushrooms are also called beech mushrooms because they live and grow on beech trees. Although bitter when raw, they have a lovely nutty flavor when cooked. They are similar in appearance to enoki mushrooms, but with a little more flavor. They are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins B6 and D, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, potassium, pantothenic acid, and iron. Interesting, mushrooms are the only plant food that contain Vitamin D. I had not seen these until recently, and now they seem to be everywhere, and they are organic. For the soup, I also used my favorite shiitake mushrooms.
Make your own stock, or not.
This version uses homemade stock, but you can purchase mushroom stock or even use a mild vegetable stock enhanced with some dried mushrooms. I had prepped mushrooms for this and another dish so I had a lot of stems and pieces to use!
Use all the vegetable trimmings from the soup ingredients in your stock! Don’t want to waste a bit of flavor.
Use the noodle of your own choice
For the ramen, I chose black “Forbidden” rice noodles. They came with a flavor packet which I did not use; they are generally filled mostly with salt, and I knew the miso would have enough salt in it to satisfy the whole recipe in this regard.
The miso I used here is a lovely medium colored chickpea miso with tons of flavor and moderate salt, 500 mg. per tablespoon, so each serving worked out to 250 mg.
There are lots of things you can use for garnish, or just keep it simple and stick with the soup. You can also add tofu, shrimp, a soft-boiled egg, or other protein, green beans, pak choi –– it’s all good!
Mushroom and Miso Ramen
- 1/2 lb. mushrooms or stems and pieces, chopped
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-inch knob ginger
- ½ ounce dried mushrooms
- 2 quarts water
- 1 small onion, sliced thinly
- 1 small carrot, sliced thinly half moons
- ½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 2 quarts mushroom stock
- 2 tbsp. miso
- 3.5 oz. (100 g.) bunapi or enoki mushrooms
- 8 oz. black rice or other ramen noodle
- 4 oz. baby spinach
- 1 small hot or sweet pepper, minced
- 2 scallions, cut on diagonal
- Parsley or cilantro
- Daikon radish, shredded
First, prep all your vegetables for the stock, stew, and garnish. Prep for all, and use the trimmings in a homemade stock if that is what you are using. Trim mushrooms, set them aside, and throw stems into a large stockpot. If you don’t have a lot of mushroom stems, add chopped up mushroom of choice to the stockpot.
Roughly chop the stock carrot, onion, and ginger and toss into the pot. More carefully, slice the soup onion and carrot and put them aside, sending the trimmings off to the stockpot. Trim the shiitake and bunapi mushrooms, set them aside, and place the trimmings in the stock pot. You can keep the bunapi mushroom in small clumps, or separate them. Cut any tough stems off the spinach and set aside, adding stems to the stockpot.
Trim the scallions, set aside, shred the Daikon radish if using, and mince the pepper.
Now, you’re ready to make the stock. Place the stockpot with the trimmings over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of neutral oil. Sauté for a few minutes, just enough to let the vegetables soften and a glaze to form on the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, dried mushrooms, and water, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a simmer then cover and let cook for about a half hour. This should be dark and richly flavored. Resist the urge to salt at this point. Strain and set aside, but save your pot!
Time to make the soup: Heat the same stockpot over medium high and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, carrot, and shiitake mushrooms. Let these gently sauté, then add the stock and miso, making sure the miso is dissolved. Add the bunapi mushrooms.
Bring to a simmer, cover tightly, and let cook for a about 20 minutes.
Once the vegetables are well mingled, add your noodles and cook according to their directions. Mine took only four minutes.
Stir in the spinach, cover the pot, and set aside until the spinach is wilted
Spoon soup in bowls, and garnish with whatever you like! Today, we used some pretty purple Daikon from my winter CSA, parsley, and scallions.
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