Long delayed, here is the recipe we use to make miso soup. This is a versatile soup that is said to be good for the sick or hung-over.
8 cups water
8 inches kombu- kombu is dried kelp that can be found at Japanese markets
2 cups dashi flakes- this is dried bonito that has been shaved into flakes
4 TBS shiro (white) miso - fermented bean paste, lasts forever
1-2 TBS aka (red) miso - stronger miso, use to taste
You can use a variety of ingredients to bolster the flavor of the soup. In our most recent class, we used:
two handfuls of spinach, blanched for two minutes in boiling water
1 pkg. abura age, chopped - fried tofu packets that are usually made into the pouch-like inari sushi
3 green onions, finely chopped
Place the kombu in a soup pot with the water and let it soak for 30 minutes.
Bring the water to almost boiling over medium heat. The water should have foam and a greenish tint. Remove kombu and turn off the heat.
Add in the dashi flakes, do not stir, remove from burner.
When the flakes settle to the bottom of the pot, you can strain them out. The remaining liquid is your dashi. Use immediately or store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Add tofu or vegetables and bring to a high simmer (not boil)
Ladle out a cup or so of hot broth and mix it with the tablespoons of miso; this will make it easier to mix into the main broth
At this point, cut the heat and add the miso. I like to put the more delicate ingredients directly in the soup bowl and pour the miso soup on top.
This will serve around 6 - 8 people