White Turnips in Dark Bean Soup

Kokabu No Miso Shiru

Pearly white turnips are in season in the cold months in Tokyo and I make this Andoh “house special” often. A simple, nutritious and delicious soup.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dashi (Basic Soup Stock)
  • 1 scant teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4–6 small white turnips, with their leaves
  • tablespoons Sendai miso (dark bean paste)

Method

Heat the soup stock in a saucepan and season it with the soy sauce and salt. Peel the turnips and quarter them, and save 5–6 of the prettiest green leaves. (If there are none, substitute a few leaves of fresh spinach, collard greens or chrysanthemum leaves.) Add the turnip pieces to the seasoned stock and simmer them for 4–5 minutes, or until translucent but still firm.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the bean paste in a bit of the hot seasoned stock. Pour the dissolved paste into the saucepan and stir to distribute. Continue to cook the soup for 2–3 minutes over low heat.

Blanch the green leaves in boiling salted water for less than a minute; they should be barely wilted and bright green. Drain the leaves and squeeze out any excess moisture before chopping them coarsely. Add the leaves to the soup, heat through and serve immediately.

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