To say that I have become more adventurous in the kitchen is an understatement. Recently, I have learned to make my own sushi, I have frequented the Asian aisle in the grocery store, I have played around with different flours to create delicious bread, and I have developed a small obsession with fermented foods. Getting back to the point of this post…I want to talk about the fermented food called miso! Miso is a paste that is made from fermented soybeans and barley or a rice malt. It is most popular in Asian cooking. The reason I love miso so much is because it’s an excellent probiotic (you known—that good bacteria!). But, here is the catch; unpasteurized miso is the only type that contains probiotics. That means you need to buy the refrigerated type of miso; not the shelf stable one. When you find miso in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, you’ll probably find white miso and red miso. The difference is the way it’s processed; red miso is made with soybeans that are fermented with barley or other grains just like white miso, but, red miso has a higher percentage of soybeans and a longer fermentation period.
For those of you with gastrointestinal problems, probiotics may help. If you are thinking that you have a stomach of steel and don’t need probiotics, think again! Probiotics can help decrease the bad bacteria in your gut that can cause infections or inflammation—so eat them up. I am a fan of getting probiotics from food rather than supplements so this recipe is very useful.
Let's get down to the ingredients. This soup was so easy to make and it's loaded with vegetables which make it so colorful. For the noodles, if you follow a low FODMAP or gluten free diet make sure you select a gluten free buckwheat pasta. For anyone else, regular buckwheat pasta is just fine. Because we are dealing with live bacteria, you want to add the miso as late in the cooking process as possible.
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (EVOO works too)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 2 green onions (FODMAPers, green part only)
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
- 6 cups of water or vegetable broth (FODMAPers, select a broth without onion & garlic or just use water)
- 2 tbsp. grated ginger
- 6 tbsp. miso paste
- Buckwheat noodles, prepared according to package
- Heat oil in a medium pot, add carrots and saute until tender, about 10 minutes
- Add zucchini and green onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes
- Add grated ginger and water/broth and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes
- Add spinach and simmer until all vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add miso and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve soup over cooked buckwheat noodles
As you can see from this photo, I got a little crazy and added some seaweed. Seaweed is a great vegan source of calcium, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin B12, and iron. Add it to this recipe if you wish!