Lemongrass Miso Soup

Lemongrass Miso Soup Recipe


One thing I've most enjoyed experimenting with over the past year is broth. I suppose the style of broth I'm interested in would technically be considered vegetable broth. That said, this isn't what one tends to think of as a typical vegetable broth - I rarely kick things off with the holy trinity of onion, carrots, and celery. Instead, I might focus one around a favorite chile pepper, or varietal of dried mushroom, or, in this case, lemongrass. It might be more helpful to think of this as thin, flavor-forward soup, where I attempt to build on a short list of intense flavors. I like broths to be compelling on their own, but also like them to function as a dynamic base for other preparations. Now, I know summer tends to be the time of year people rally around grilling and outdoor cooking, but I have to tell you, it's also the time of year I like a light, clean brothy soup. So the broth experiments continue. This one, in particular, was a standout - as a pot of water is on the stove, coming to a simmer, you add a host of ingredients like chopped lemongrass, shallots, ginger, tomatoes, and coriander. Simmer, season with miso, and you have a beautiful, unique component beautiful served straight, but also wonderful and surprising as a base for noodles, poached eggs, or rice soup.

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Are many of you making broths from scratch? To enjoy on their own, or to use as a component?...As you can imagine, I'd love to hear any favorites. I feel like a lot of cooks, home cooks in particular, make the occasional vegetable broth. Or, if you're not vegetarian/vegan, chicken broth/stock seems like it is still a quite common endeavor. But, I'm curious about any favorites or a level of enthusiasm for this sort of thing beyond that. I always love hearing what you're doing in your kitchens surrounding various themes, and I'm particularly excited about this one - I suspect you might have great ideas. xo -h

 
 
 
 

Lemongrass Miso Broth

8 cups of water
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 lemongrass stalks, tender insides chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
5 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
5 medium garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 slices fresh ginger, sliced
2 yellow tomatoes, cut into chunks
2-4 tablespoons miso, or to taste

to serve: over soba with a poached egg, as a broth for dumplings, over tofu cubes as a twist on classic miso, or with yuba skins. I like it with ribbons of kale as well.

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. While the water is heating, prep the rest of the ingredients and add the olive oil, lemongrass, coriander, shallots, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes as they're ready. Simmer for twenty minutes or so, or until the broth is to your liking. The longer you leave it to simmer, the stronger it will be. Strain the broth into a large bowl, pressing on the solids to collect as much liquid as possible. Add a splash of the broth to the miso and stir until the miso thins. Add the miso mixture to the broth and stir well. If the flavors don't pop at this point, your broth is likely under salted (miso pastes vary in saltiness). You can either add more miso, or salt to taste with salt or soy sauce. Enjoy on its own, or over anything from noodles, to poached eggs, rice, or dumplings.


Serves 4.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 20 min

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Your Comments


This looks delicious, Heidi! Love the simplicity (and quick-cooking factor) of your broth.

My go-to soups start with the classic mirepoix, but I'll occasionally do something Japanese-inspired and begin with a basic kombu/bonito dashi. Now, I'm itching to try unusual combinations and cross-cuisine mash-ups like you've shown here!

 

I am fan of dark miso compared to light. I have never tried it with lemon grass however it sounds delicious!

 

Alicia
July 23, 2014

You've just reminded me of that bit in Honey From A Weed where she talks about thyme soup, which is just a broth of dried thyme poured over some sliced bread and olive oil (and sometimes an egg). Or similarly, a soup of crushed garlic, sage and olive oil, thickened with an egg yolk. Delicious and about as simple as it gets.

 

Anonymous
July 23, 2014

I aspire to make intentionally edited broths, and occasionally succeed when it's really easy to do as I go--like simmering corncobs for corn soup or pea pods for springy brothy soup. But mostly I throw choice scraps in the freezer as I'm cooking other things & then make veggie stock six quarts at a time like this: http://emmycooks.com/2012/04/07/how-to-make-homemade-organic-vegetable-broth-for-free/. Usually I think this generic approach is good enough, but your recipe here definitely sounds like one worth making in its own right. I hope we'll be hearing more about your dabbling in flavorful broths. :)

 

Emmy Cooks
July 23, 2014

Oops, that last comment was from me, Emmy. Darn trying to do things on my phone!

 

Home Care
July 23, 2014

I take care of seniors and some really enjoy soup. I'm a try making this.. i am sure they will enjoy it

 

I make my broth in a traditional way and by this I mean the way my grandma taught me - carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, leek, onion, garlic :)

 

Karen
July 24, 2014

I love brothy soups in the summer also, particularly when the broth comes together quickly. Lemongrass with ginger is a great idea. I'll try that next.

I have been making miso soup broths based on traditional Japanese hot pot ingredients. I put burdock root in the broth, and thinly sliced Hakurei or Tokyo Cross turnips, along with their greens. It's a great way to use up greens, such as mizuna, spinach, or kale in addition to the turnip greens. With carrots, several mushroom varieties, green onions and silken tofu, I could eat this every day with soba or brown rice. I add some splashes of sake and mirin. This seems to help meld and soften the flavors a bit. I experiment with different misos, such as chickpea or mellow white, adding this after the broth has cooked the vegetables. I call it "longevity soup" because it tastes so light and one feels healthy after eating it.

 

Jules @ WolfItDown
July 24, 2014

This looks and sounds so wonderfully refreshing in a nice warm, comforting way, and I can only imagine the clean flavours in it is so good! :D I myself usually makesstews or soups, but I don't mind the occasional broth, especially as a starter and especially if it's miso! x

 

Nubhs
July 24, 2014

Heidi, those bowls are absolutely stunning. Can I ask where you got them from?!

 

Sophie
July 24, 2014

I love the simple flavour combinations. I like to make my own broth and vegetable stock, to either use as a base for soups (blended with vegetables) or alone with soba noodles - my favourite is with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, as it gives a rich flavour.

 

olga
July 24, 2014

Heidi - this looks perfect - and I have all the ingredients for it, so will be making tomorrow for dinner! Thanks so much! As for broths, I make a lot of my own vegetable broths with whatever I have in stock. I do love a good mushroom broth because it has so much flavor. And these days, I have quite a bit of corn stock on hand - I save the cobs and make stock with that and maybe an herb or two I have on hand. I've made lemon verbena corn broth last year - it was amazing. This year, there's more corn/tarragon happening. I take the herbs, drop them into the made broth that's hot and is off heat. Wrap the stop with plastic wrap and let the whole thing infuse before I pull the herbs out. It's a trick I learned from Marc Forgione while working on a book with him - and it's a gentler way of extracting flavor.

 

Jen
July 24, 2014

This looks lovely. What are the flowery greens in the bowl in the pictures?

 

This broth sounds delightful - and is so pretty! Love this recipe :)

 

Rasa @ This Fox Cooks
July 24, 2014

This broth sounds so elegant! I can't wait to try it. I love making Asian broths. I often include Kaffir limes leaves - they add a lovely deep citrus note.

 

Emily
July 24, 2014

Hi, this looks so delicious! I was wondering where the bowls are from? They are beautiful!

 

Nina
July 24, 2014

Miso and lemongrass, what an awesome pairing! Trying it soon!
I very often make my own broth using kitchen scraps so the flavour changes everytime depending on what I have on hand : oignon peels, leek top, carrot peels, fennel, garlic, parsley stalks, ginger peels, parsnip peels, celeriac etc. Sometimes I'll add a dry shiitake too. To boost the flavours, I stard by sauteing my vegetables scraps in a good olive oil before adding the water. I think that seaweed can also make a great addition.

 

Abby
July 24, 2014

Hi!

I LOVE the bowls that you so often use in your soup posts. Can you point me in the direction of where they came?

Thank you!!

 

Kate @FramedCooks
July 24, 2014

You know, I've always wanted to try lemongrass and I think this is the recipe that will make me do it! And that's probably the prettiest use of a poached egg I've ever seen - it looks positively peaceful! (And scrumptious!)

 

kelley
July 24, 2014

stunning, simple meals as always. your meals remain my favorite. thanks, heidi. :)

 

Aria Alpert Adjani
July 24, 2014

this looks and sounds delicious. will def be trying. :) I have become a huge fan of making bone broth. I craved it actually when I was pregnant so I started making it. Organic lamb bones became my favorite with a whole head of garlic cloves, chopped onion, celery, carrot, japanesse sweet potato, fresh ginger root, a few hot chills, kombu, a splash of apple cider vinegar to extract all the minerals out of the bones and a nice handful of sea salt topped with filtered water - prob 10 - 12 cups depending on how big my pot is. I bring to light boil, skim off foam and then turn down to simmer for a good 8 hrs or so. Strain and fill in some silicone ice cube tray, freeze the stock and use as like a bouillon when making soup or grains or add miso paste and make a miso soup!

 

Poca
July 24, 2014

Looks divine! How do you make that gorgeous poached egg?


They always turn out prettier when you do one at a time. I
Could write up the play by play at some point, but the jist is - deep water in saucepan, swirl simmering water into a whirlpool, ease egg in.

 

I love any kind of broth but have only ever done Asian broths and a classic vegetable broth. Yours sounds so easy yet really interesting to try out! Yum, will have to try this during summer, the lemongrass taste must be absolutely delicious!
Would definitely love that with dumplings! Thanks for sharing... :)

 

Marianne
July 24, 2014

I make organic chicken and beef bone broth on a regular basis now, including with fish bones. You can make it as delicate or intense as you like, going Thai or Indian or Mexican or Mediterranean. You get the extra nourishment from the minerals extracted from the bones and cartilage. Going back to vegetable broth or stock doesn't quite satisfy like bone broth.

 

Yes! I whole-heartedly agree that summer is a great time for thin, flavor-forward broths. And this lemongrass broth sounds amazing. I was just working on a southwestern-style summer squash soup and used a similar method to create the broth, but the post is forthcoming.

 

Anonymous
July 24, 2014

A broth that has stayed prominent in my mind for many years now is the simple but vibrant beet and lemon broth from Unplugged Kitchen by Viana La Place. When I searched for a link to the recipe, the first one that came up was on a blog that thanked you, Heidi, for an interview with Ginny Evans, which led the blogger to seek out the cookbook and find this recipe! http://nourish-me.typepad.com/nourish_me/2009/05/tonic.html

 

I love broth, and I agree that it's quite nice to have in the summers too! Sometimes our office AC is a little too enthusiastic....

One of my favorite combinations is mushrooms, scallions, a little garlic, some chili flakes, and then a touch of miso or tamari (depending on my mood and what's in the fridge). Pretty basic but very easy and feels so nourishing! I'll drink it alone or use it to quick-cook some thinly sliced vegetables, then have that as a more substantial soup.

 

Heidi
July 24, 2014

For those of you curious about the lovely bowls - they were made by local artist Jessica Niello. I often come across her work at The Perish Trust on Divisadero. -h

 

We have a ton of lemongrass right now and I was wondering how I should use it. I think I might make this in bulk and freeze it for a quick soup base. Thanks for sharing!

 

tina
July 24, 2014

Such a beautiful poached egg Heidi!!

 

Dyhana
July 24, 2014

I've been making stock soups for some time, but never thought about broths based on particular ingredients. I think you've just opened up a whole new culinary chapter for me!

 

Anonymous
July 24, 2014

I have some fresh curry leaves in the freezer as well as lemongrass - think I will throw that in too.

 

Nina
July 24, 2014

the garnish, is it sesame seeds?

 

Eric Gower
July 24, 2014

This sounds divine Heidi. Two things I keep in the freezer for a similar broth: corn cobs (I usually shave the kernels off and eat them in various ways, then toss the cobs in a ziplock and into the freezer) and leek tops, also tossed into the same ziplock. And rinds from parmesan and other hard cheeses. Really nice combo.

 

Marcee
July 24, 2014

Simple soups are lovely. What are the greens in the bowl?

 

Eileen
July 24, 2014

This broth sounds so rich and complex! I usually just make the standard quick vegetable broth with a pile of scraps from the freezer; if we happen to roast a chicken (an every-6-months proposition at our house) the carcass gets boiled for basic chicken stock. I love the idea of customizing broths for super easy soups!

 

Angel Reyes
July 24, 2014

The recipe looks good, but the pictures are amazing. I love them!!!

 

Michelle
July 24, 2014

Love a good healthy light (lite) broth to keep me company any time of year. Do you think I could use lemongrass paste/puree from a tube? I recently bought one and have been dying to use it, but don't quite know how much is too much...Thanks if you have a moment.


HS: Hi MIchelle - I would just do it to taste, starting with a small bit and building from there! Good luck

 

Shila
July 24, 2014

Heidi--I'm super curious and enthusiastic about your broth adventures. Bring it on!

I enjoy infusing cooking liquids for soups and lentils with ginger, bay leaves, and whatever spices my hands feel inspired to pull out of the pantry. I think of it like making tea really. But I have little patience for traditional veggie broth which sometimes tastes flat to me and calls for veggies I never seem to have on hand.


 

Caitlyn
July 24, 2014

Almost all of my soups are founded on my homemade Cook's Illustrated-inspired quick roasted chicken broth. I endeavor to hang on to veggie scraps make vegetable broth, but my husband always complains about my using the results because, and I quote, "It tastes too vegetably."

He, on the other hand, makes some beautiful Asian broths with dashi and other semi-obscure ingredients, the secrets of which I have not learned.

I've had a recipe hanging around for a while to make a parmesan broth, and I love the idea of lemongrass broth. I will definitely be stealing the idea of corn broth as well.

 

Francesca
July 24, 2014

i make all my broths from scratch, the smell indicates their readiness. Of course, I am a fan of the holy trinity, an Italian soffrito, to start anything Italian in style, but as for Asian, I let the garden herbs lead me- lemongrass with fresh coriander stems, shallot, garlic, kaffir lime leaves ( torn or shredded) a knob of ginger, some silced carrots for sweetness, and at the end ,a splash of soy, - makes a gentle broth for anything Asian. I find miso too overpowering in a broth. I reserve miso for glazing.

I hate my broths to be confused in taste, so never mix 'olive oil' with eastern flavours, and vice versa.

 

molly
July 24, 2014

oh, my. i imagine this would be lovely with itty bitty bits of tofu, bobbing all about. And shredded bok choy. And julienned carrots. And/or so many things!!!

To Caitlyn's point, above, two of our favorite "broths" are parmesan (rind) broth -- so flavorful, so umami-full! -- and bean broth. Better yet: both, combined :)

Mmmm....

xo,
M

 

Lisa Mason
July 24, 2014

My broths are always influenced by what I cook the week before. I have a permanent container in my fridge that is pulled out during preparation, for all of the broth-worthy scraps to land. Think onion ends, celery butts, herb stems, mushroom stalks etc. etc. Once it is full, I simmer it all down, covered, for about an hour, with enough water to cover. Strain and voile- the next week's broth!

 

Christina
July 24, 2014

This sounds so light and refreshing. Love the lemongrass in there.

 

Anonymous
July 25, 2014

I'm a sucker for hot and sour broths, particularly anything reminiscent of a Thai tom yum. Fragrant, fiery and healing, they're what I crave most after too much indulgence in the food or drinks. This looks like a great, subtle alternative to that, when you don't want streaming sinuses!

My go to has to be the broth from Ottolenghi's hot and sour mushroom soup recipe, which manages to capture real depth and complexity while still being vegan. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/18/hot-sour-mushroom-soup-recipe)

He pairs his with mushrooms, but it's great with some shredded veg, tofu and noodles thrown in.

 

Cheri
July 25, 2014

Thank you for another wonderful clean and fresh broth! There is always a qt of one of your broth ideas in my frig and freezer. Wonderful light meal (breakfast for me) no matter the weather. Searching for lemongrass..and when I find it.... :)

 

Stu
July 25, 2014

This looks like a great starter idea for my next Sunday lunch. I must say i've never ventured into the land of broth making, thanks to you I now will.
By the way, i've been really enjoying your photography. It's your own consistent style and it absolutely works.

 

alexis
July 25, 2014

I love to steep genmaicha green tea and then use it rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms. I then remove and reserve the mushrooms and mix white miso paste in the mushroom infused green tea broth. I'll then mix in rehydrated mushrooms, peas and scallions and simmer. Meanwhile, I'll infuse safflower oil with genmaicha tea and then use that oil to sear extra firm pieces of tofu. Once seared, I top each bowl with tofu and pea shoots or other small greens.

 

Erin
July 25, 2014

When I make a quick broth, I'm usually using prawn shells and the like for a nice seafood soup. Unfortunately our freezer is tiny, so making huge batches of stock isn't really an option. Prawn shells I can wedge in a corner! I love the idea of a beet and lemon broth that someone commented about, I bet it would be an incredible colour. I've been thinking a lot about the corn broth Bryant Terry talks about in Afro-Vegan, I'd never heard of that.

We make miso soup quite a bit, the lemongrass sounds lovely.

 

Duff
July 25, 2014

I had never heard of using the corn cobs to make a broth until recently. I love the very mild and sweet broth that comes from boiling them after removing the corn itself. Your lemongrass suggestions in the past lend itself perfectly to this mild summer broth---perfect with summer squash.

 

CiaoFlorentina
July 25, 2014

Absolutely gorgeous color combination. I love to make root vegetable broths, depending on what's in season: heirloom carrots, parsley root, celery root, parsnips and some type of pepper, the most natural sweet combination of flavors and infused it with a few threads of saffron. I tell you, I eat it just like that, sip by sip-heaven!

 

bethan
July 26, 2014

I've been making a lot of soups recently, but have yet to venture into broths! Maybe it's time!

 

Fred Rickson
July 26, 2014

A quibble. The write-up says that the longer you cook the stock, the stronger it will be. Not necessarily, because of two considerations. One, you can only pull so much flavor out of a cooked item, and two, if you bring the stock volume back to its original amount, the concentration of flavor isn't a consideration.

 

Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
July 27, 2014

Holy cannoli! Pinning this for dinner this week. Your photos always make me so hungry!

 

Miche
July 27, 2014

I make a lot of miso soup, and, although I don't create the dashi broth from scratch (embarrassingly, I'm fine with the standard msg-laced Ajinomoto), I do like to add things to it that enhance the flavor. For a while, I was adding pieces of smoked brisket which gave the soup a wonderful smoky flavor, letting it simmer for a few minutes in the stock before adding the miso. Recently, I experimented with corn cobs, off of which I had just sliced off the kernels. The kernels went into the pot shortly before serving.

 

Willa
July 27, 2014

One more person wondering: What are the herby/grassy fresh greens in the bowl in the photos?


HS: Hi Willa! They're little micro scallions. And there is some sesame sprinkled about as well. Arugula would
Be a great alternative, or arugula...

 

LizzyW.com
July 29, 2014

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture!!! I have to try this soon.

 

Sarah Burgin
July 29, 2014

Sounds like a very light sharp tasting broth , going to try this and see if it tastes as good as it sounds.

P.s. the presentation is immense!!

:):):)

 

Molly @ BubGourmand
July 29, 2014

I think it's The Greens cookbook (Deborah Madison) that goes through vegetable by vegetable and explains which part is best for stocks. I learned so much from that. I used to throw all my onion skins into my stock bc that's what my grandmother and mother did for a nice rich color. But too much can make it bitter. I'm sure she has things to say about corn cobs and leek tops too. What are the lovely greens and flowers you dressed your stock with? Basil and some kind of sprout?

 

Kim@Cookwith2Chicks
July 30, 2014

This broth looks simple and delicious!
My favorite go to broth to make is a chicken base broth with loads of parsley, cilantro, lemon, carrot tops and a whole tomato cut in half. Recently I added a couple of whole beets and greens to the mix which turned the both a beautiful light red color.

 

Sophia
July 30, 2014

Wow, I feel inspired to go make this right now!

I've been making my own vegetable stock from scratch for years and only go back to canned when going through big transitions, such as an out-of-state move. I keep vegetable scraps in my freezer to put in my stocks. I love to make a huge batch and freeze whatever I don't use to have on hand. It's so simple and completely worth the 10-15 minutes of hands-on time.

 

matthew
July 30, 2014

Very nice! Simple, clean, and light.

 

Sandra Cross
July 30, 2014

Inspired to start cooking at 11 at night what is wrong with me !!

 

Stephanie Fox
August 1, 2014

It looks sooo Healthy and Beautiful!

 

amy
August 1, 2014

Love a good broth, it makes all the difference in the world! My personal favorite is homemade pho broth (vegan) with lots of mushrooms, onion, star anise, and ginger. Was blown away the first time I tried it--hardly any resemblance to the bland stuff you usually get in restaurants!

 

Venus M.
August 3, 2014

Many of you would be very suprised at how easy it is to grow lemon grass. If you can grow green onions or green grassy plants you most likely will be able to grow Lemon grass. I woull suggest growing it in a container. You can start the plant off using root cuttings from the Lemon Grass you purchase at the store. Once you get it going you can pick & grow. The same is true for ginger. Since you perfer the Hawaiian Ginger use a large branch with hardy fingers to get cuttings. It's basically the same process as the lemon grass. Both will take a good size container so don't skrimp on size. The bigger the container the more you get. Pick as you go. Search the web for detailed info on how to grow both. Hope this was helpful. Thanks for the awesome recipes. If a person can cook using things readily available from their surroundings they can save alot (and many just save their live in the event of a disaster). Aloha! ♥

 

Alessandra Zecchini
August 4, 2014

Never paired miso with lemon grass, I am curious now, and a bit scared ;-) Ciao Alessandra

 

Emily
August 4, 2014

I made this broth last night (added fried eqggplant, kale, thin strips of zucchini, poached egg and sesame seeds) and loved it!!

 

Laura
August 15, 2014

This sounds so favourful! Can't wait to try it. Last winter, I was obsessed with your Immunity Soup with the peppery broth - made it countless times!
I do find when I make my own standard veg broth (of the onion/carrot/celery type), it's often a little flat and disappointing. I'm never sure exactly what it lacks though...but I appreciate the comments above and will be taking some of that advice.

 

Michelle
August 28, 2014

Wow, I want to grow lemongrass and ginger now! Excited to see how my kiddos like this new soup.

I absolutely love chicken stock, it's the one I keep on hand always. I boil the bones overnight, with a splash of vinegar to extract minerals, ala Sally Fallon. Amazing the difference it makes in soups! I really should be better about using my veggies scraps to make stock.

 

Sally
September 1, 2014

We are easing into spring down our way - love the look of this broth - just a couple of questions if you have time....what sort of miso is best and how do you poach an egg with such elegance? Love your Blog, it makes me happy!