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 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • 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.

    Caitlyn
  • 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.

    Shila
  • 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

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

    Angel Reyes
  • 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!

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

    Marcee
  • 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.

    Eric Gower
  • the garnish, is it sesame seeds?

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

    Anonymous
  • 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!

    Dyhana
  • Such a beautiful poached egg Heidi!!

    tina
  • 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!

    Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers
  • 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

    Heidi
  • 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.

    Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables
  • 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

    Anonymous
  • 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.

    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
  • 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.

    Marianne
  • 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... :)

    Tina | Mademoiselle Gourmande
  • 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.

    Poca
  • 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!

    Aria Alpert Adjani
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