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Miso Chicken & Tofu Soup
Cut cooked chicken into bite-size pieces about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) square. Add to a large soup pot with chicken broth and heat over medium high heat.
Thinly slice carrots. Add to soup pot, cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and keep covered.
Meanwhile, place dried shitake mushrooms in a medium bowl. Cover with a few cups (500 mL) of hot chicken broth from the soup. Set aside to rehydrate - about 20 minutes. Cool. Remove mushrooms from broth and add the broth back to soup pot. Remove the tough stems from the mushrooms and discard. Slice mushroom caps and add to soup pot. You should have 2 cups (500 mL) sliced shitake mushrooms. Alternately, use fresh shitake or other mushrooms.
Boil or steam edamame in a small amount of cold water for 5 minutes until tender. Cool. Remove beans and add to soup pot.
Finely grate ginger and slice green onions. Add to chicken and broth, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Cut firm tofu into one inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Add to soup with the baby spinach. Simmer until vegetables turn bright green and carrots are tender. Season with the light tamari.
Mix miso with one cup (250 mL) of broth from soup in a medium bowl. Remove soup from heat and blend in miso. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
Notes: Edamame are green soy beans that are great source of vegetable protein and fibre and a fun addition to your diet. Use frozen, blanched edamame. If you use edamame in the pod you will have to cook 3 cups (750 mL) and remove soybeans from pods to yield 1 ½ cup (375 mL) for this soup recipe.
This recipe was tested with brown rice miso aged three years. There are a lot of different kinds of miso but basically miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning paste produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans. Sweet and salty miso marinades are common in Japanese cooking. Miso is also used in sauces, spreads, soup etc. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and you can also keep it in the freezer as the paste will stay soft.
If you need a gluten free version make sure that the chicken broth, light tamari and miso you choose do not contain gluten.