This nourishing Japanese soup takes only minutes to prepare and can be served for breakfast, lunch, or as part of a main meal. Miso, fermented soy bean paste, adds a rich flavor and is highly valued in Japan for its health-giving properties.

3 cups dashi stock (dashi stock powder is available at Asian food stores)
2 thinly sliced fresh mushrooms (shiitake or white button)
1½ tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
1½ oz (45g) silken tofu—cut into cubes
½ scallion—thinly sliced on the diagonal


BRING the stock to a gentle boil in a saucepan, add the mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes. MIX together the miso and soy sauce in a small bowl, then add to the hot dashi stock. ADD the tofu. HEAT the soup and, just before it comes to the boil, remove from the heat. POUR the soup into bowls and garnish with the sliced scallions on top to serve.

Variations: you can add various other ingredients to make a more substantial soup, such as cooked shrimp, snow pea sprouts, cooked rice noodles, or paper-thin slices of fresh ginger.

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