This recipe for shiiitake mushroom and red miso soup was inspired by my previous recipe, mushroom miso barley stew. We really enjoyed the flavor of the Shitake mushroom and we wanted to cook with it again. This time we went a little different route and enjoyed it with some different flavors and without the barley. If you like, you may add some cooked rice vermicilli noodles to this soup. The rice vericilli noodles give the soup a Pho-like quality.
You can use portabella or baby bella mushrooms in place of the shiitake, if you like, they have a similar meaty quality. If you use fresh shiitake mushrooms, you will not need an entire pound, you’ll need about one-half to three-quarters of a pound. Once added to liquid, even the fresh shiitake tend to “puff up” quite a bit.
This comes out thick and delicious. You may find that when you reheat it you will need to add water or vegetable broth to it. This recipe makes a lot! Be prepared to share or freeze.
Shitake mushroom and red miso soup
2 to 3 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
2-inch nob fresh ginger, peeled and mashed (see Recipe Notes)
1/2 cup red, white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound fresh mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (I recommend a mixture of baby bellas, portabellas or fresh shiitake)**
10 cups vegetable broth
1 to 2 Tbsp. red miso paste***
1 Tbsp. Sriacha (less if you don’t like spicy)
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup baby spinach, roughly torn****
In large stockpot (4 to 6 quarts), heat olive oil on medium heat; saute garlic and onion until translucent.
Add mushrooms (see my notes regarding mushrooms at the end of this recipe) to pot on medium heat and cook about 3 minutes until they begin to soften. Add red miso paste to taste (this is a salty product, so add 1/2 tsp. at a time until you get the flavor you want). Add Sriacha, soy sauce and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer on low about 30 minutes. Uncover, add spinach (you may find you need to add a little vegetable broth or water) and simmer on low 5 minutes, until spinach is cooked. Serve immediately. Yield: about 8 to 10 two-cup servings.
Rachael’s Recipe Notes:
To mash ginger I use a vegetable peeler to “slice” it very thinly then I use my chef knife to chop it until it becomes paste-like
I found red miso paste at T&T Asian Market on Elmwood Ave. in Kenmore. It is in the refrigerated section. It may seem pricey, but a little bit goes a long, long way. It stores well in the fridge and can even be frozen.
Fresh shiitake mushrooms can also be found at T&T Asian Market. They are meaty and yeasty and if you use these, slice them thinly, a little goes a long way! Fresh produce arrives on Thursdays and Fridays. Don’t use too many Shittake! I used 6 to 8 thinly sliced, about 1/2 pound.
You can find baby bellas at Save-A-Lot very inexpensively. I have found baby bella for about $1.88 per pound. Portabellas (a larger, more “meaty” version of the baby bella) are pricey. I haven’t been able to find them for under $3.49 per pound. However, you don’t need a lot. I bought 2 large caps for $1.75 at Budwey’s Super Markets. Two large caps go a long, long way in this soup. Slice Portabellas thinly for this soup.
I remove the stems of the mushrooms and save those for making vegetable broth in the crockpot. I don’t care for the stems, as they can be tough and woody.
If you don’t have baby spinach, use regular spinach, just make sure to remove the tough stem from the middle before using. If you can find it, substitute baby bokchoy (purchased at T&T Asian market) that has been very thinly sliced. You’ll need one whole baby bok choy for this recipe. You can steam the rest of them (remove the bottom, cut in half, steam about 2 minutes until softened), and toss with soy sauce or hoisin sauce.
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