Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chicken Soup With Miso: Secret Stock

My coughs are waking the dead but I must share this soup. First it was the easiest chicken soup I have ever made. Why? Because I did not begin with a raw chicken. And no, it didn't come from a can or box either. I made the stock from roasted chicken bones and leftovers I have been saving up for a month or so, for just such an occasion.

I have been keeping a large plastic baggie in the freezer, to which I add chicken bones and other kitchen tidbits. Each time I use raw vegetables, I add scraps like onion skins, carrot tops, wilted parsley, celery leaves...You get the idea. Whatever could be used for a broth, I add to the bag.

When I finally needed something homemade, I brought out the bag, dumped the contents into a large stockpot and covered with water. I simmered what others might have deemed "garbage", into an aromatic, flavorful broth. It became the base for my "Facebook Soup." I even had leftovers, enough to use to make something new and exciting, like the soup I made tonight.

My secret stock became a base for Chicken With Miso. I have actually never cooked with miso before and I had no idea which miso to buy. I bought yellow miso this time and I hope to experiment with the other varieties in the near future. Basically, miso is a flavorful fermented soybean paste. Most people are familiar with it as an ingredient in miso soup but apparently it has countless other uses and I can't wait to find out more. But back to my soup, which was exactly what I craved:

Chicken Soup With Miso

6 cups chicken/vegetable broth (made from leftovers, simmered for 1-2 hours)
4 skinless chicken thighs
1/4 block of tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 scallions sliced
1 inch piece ginger, grated on microplane zester
3 servings soba noodles, cooked
handful baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons yellow miso paste.

1. Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper, sear in olive oil a couple of minutes on each side. The chicken will not be cooked through. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to simmering stock
2. Simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add tofu, scallions and spinach leaves and simmer 2 more minutes. Add miso and stir until dissolved.
3. Place soba noodles in individual bowls and pour soup over, sprinkle with grated ginger.

Serve immediately. This makes 3-4 servings.

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