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Miso Soup

Adapted from Elizabeth Andoh's Washoku.

Andoh recommends shiro miso because it's mild and somewhat sweet. But she says you can use any kind of miso in this soup recipe, so if you already have some (ahem) unopened in your fridge, now's the time to crack it open.

Serves 4

1 package enoki mushrooms, about 3 ounces, trimmed

2 watercress sprigs or 2 scallions

3 1/2 cups dashi

1/2 block extra-firm tofu, diced

3 tablespoons miso

Cut the trimmed mushrooms into thirds. Place the pieces with the caps directly into individual soup bowls and the remaining stem portions into a pot.

Chop the leaves and stems of the watercress coarsely. If using scallions, trim away the root and cut both the white bottoms and green tops into thin circles. Divide the garnish among the bowls.

Add the dashi (stock) to the pot holding the mushroom stems and bring to a boil over high heat. When the stock begins to boil, skim away any froth and reduce the heat to maintain a steady but not vigorous simmer. Add the tofu and cook for 1 minute.

Just before serving, place the miso in a bowl, add some of the hot stock from the pot, stir to mix, then pour this through a fine-mesh strainer into the soup. (This will keep out the miso solids so the soup is clear, not grainy.)

Ladle the soup into the bowls that hold the enoki caps and garnish, and serve immediately.

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