This week I tried going for a raw diet setting myself a goal of at least one month. Much to my desmay, I very soon came to the realisation that a raw diet isn’t for me, not only as the weather in this country isn’t stable (even in summertime) but also as I don’t think I would cope well just eating raw foods. I was missing warm soups and broths, and all the rest of cooked food. So I lasted.. two days! The second day I was craving pasta so badly that I came home from work and decided that I’d had enough of it. I do love raw fresh fruit and vegetables as part of my diet however I don’t think I could live on them 100% of the time. So I made this lovely hearty and warming soup today since temperatures dropped down to about 16 degrees and it’s been raining all day.
I have also tried being a bit more creative and illustrative to show you more of what I used when I made this dish.
1 litre of filtered water + 250ml to soak mushrooms
3 large pieces of kombu seaweed (I think this should be the equivalent of a little less than one sheet as it comes in its package – I use a lot of this because I like a more flavoursome stock)
6 dry shiitake mushrooms
a good bunch of fresh spinach
2 x 40g packs of natto
1 tbsp shoyu soya sauce
1 large tbsp of your favourite miso (I normally use the Shinshu variety – the photo is of a bag of Inaka miso which I use from time to time because it has too strong a flavour for me)
1. soak the kombu in 1 litre of cold water for about an hour
2. boil the 200ml water and soak the mushrooms in it for about 30 mins (place them in a small bowl and put a lid on it or plate so that the heat is retained)
3. wash the spinach and carrots
4. chop them up as you prefer and put them aside
5. sieve the kombu stock in a large pot and place the carrots in it
6. in the meantime remove the stems from the mushrooms, chop them lengthwise and then place them in the saucepan together with their soaking water
7. open the packs of natto and mash it up in a bowl (see last thumbnail photo.) if you have a mortar and pestle then you can easily do this. mash it up until it’s very gooey
8. when the carrots are almost soft, add the spinach and simmer until wilted
9. then turn off the heat and add the miso. you can easily do this by melting it inside a sieve and stirring it with a spoon. this ensures that you don’t have any lumps in it. otherwise using a ladle, scoop out some stock and melt in there before adding it to the saucepan.
10. finally add the natto, stir well and serve
11. you can sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on the soup to garnish