Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Miso Soup... err, Stew

We were blessed with an extra head of cabbage this week, and I'm looking in our fridge at two full heads of cabbage and a bin full of sweet potatoes and thinking, "What on earth am I going to do with all of these veggies?" Out of curiosity, I looked on for soup ideas, and came across a recipe for miso soup with sweet potato wonton dumplings. I know, it sounds weird, but it worked! Even the hubby liked it, which is saying alot since he is not a fan of sweet potatoes! It is really salty, but you can reduce the amount of miso and tamari (or use reduced-sodium tamari) to reduce the sodium content.

As per usual, I tweaked the recipe a bit, and this is what ensued... (it was more of a stew than a soup, but if you prefer a brothy miso soup, reduce the amount of cabbage by half or double the liquid and spices)....

Miso Soup with Sweet Potato Wontons
2 medium sweet potatoes (just over 1 lb)
1 large shallot, minced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. ginger, minced or grated
1-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
30 wonton wrappers
1 tbsp of tamari for sprinkling over the finished wontons
4 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (approximately half a small head of cabbage)
1 daikon (optional), thinly sliced in half moons
1 inch piece of ginger, diced
8 cups water
2 tbsp. tamari (omit if you want a less salty broth, or use reduced-sodium tamari)
4 veggie bouillon cubes
3 heaping tbsp. yellow miso (reduce this amount if you want a less salty broth)
1 cup of bean sprouts (for topping)

Heat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit. Prick sweet potatoes and put on a baking sheet. Bake for one hour, turning once. Cool, peel, and set aside in medium size bowl.

Heat oil over medium-low heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or until caramelized. Add shallot/garlic mixture, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt to sweet potatoes. Mash and stir well to combine. Set aside.

Place cabbage, daikon, and ginger in large soup pot. Cover with eight cups of water and add tamari and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and cover.

Place one wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand. (Cover the others to prevent them from drying out) Place a scant 1 tbsp. of sweet potato mixture in the center of the wonton wrapper. Wet two adjacent edges of the wonton wrapper and fold the opposite two edges into the wet edges to form a triangle. Place the wrapper so the tip of the triangle is facing upwards. Take the two bottom edges and twist them outward. Then bring the tips of the two twisted edges together and overlap them. It should form a hat-like look.Once you have six or so, place them in the pot of boiling veggies and cover for 3-5 minutes. They will turn translucent when they are done. Remove gently with a slotted spoon and place in a single layer on a plate to cool. Continue this process until all of the sweet potato mixture has been used. Sprinkle tamari over the finished wontons. This will prevent them from sticking and add a nice touch of flavor for added depth.

When the veggies are done, after about an hour of boiling gently, turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Place the 3 heaping tablespoons of yellow miso in a small, separate bowl and mix 1/4 cup of the liquid from the veggies, one tablespoon at a time, into the miso until the mixture is smooth. Pour into the soup pot. Spoon into separate bowls and top with the bean sprouts and two or three wontons. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

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