This is the perfect recipe to try on chilly winter nights. There are several elements that make this recipe a healing nutritional powerhouse. The apple cider vinegar and miso contain beneficial bacteria, which feed your digestive flora and can heighten your immune system. In addition, the lemons and vegetables provide loads of Vitamin C, fiber, and other micronutrients. The lemons are also very alkaline.
In Chinese Medicine, they believe in a “balance” between all elements. During cold months, we can get an excess of “cold” chi, leading to imbalance and potentially illness. The chilies, miso, and temperature of this soup increase circulation and promote heat.
If that isn’t enough for you, this recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and vegan! (It can even be soy free if you replace the soy sauce with sea salt.) Can you ask for anything more? Not only that, you can use whatever vegetables you have “lying around.” As long as it’s not too sweet a vegetable, I often use whatever I have in the fridge.
- Juice of 4 lemons
- ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (wheat free)
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup miso (red or brown, raw)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 fresh Thai chilies (dried chilies of another kind work fine as well)
- Veggies! The soup can include: Daikon/radishes, dark greens (kale/chard/spinach), shitake (fresh or dried), bamboo shoots, celery, oyster mushrooms, celery, cabbage, turnips, etc.
- Optional-If I want some more protein, I use silken or firm tofu.
- 3 kaffir lime leaves (available at Thai markets, or online.)
Bring 6 ½ cups water to boil. (Adding some salt and covering the pot will speed up the process.) Once the water is boiling, add the chilies and kaffir lime leaves (if you have them.) Have your vegetables chopped ahead of time. Add the most dense and starchy vegetables first, (turnips, carrots, daikon), and tofu. After about 5-7 minutes, add the less dense vegetables, (mushrooms, bamboo, celery, cabbage, etc.). After another 2 minutes, add the leafy greens, the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and soy sauce. After 1 minute, turn down to simmer.
In a small bowl, pour warm water (not boiling, we don’t want to kill the good bacteria) in with the miso paste. Wisk the miso until it is creamy and mixed in. Once the soup is cooler than boiling, pour in the miso and mix. Then serve. Makes about 5 servings.
*Cooking time varies based on vegetables used. Vegetables that are denser and starchier have a longer cooking time. Stop when vegetables are slightly under-done, as they will continue to cook in the pot and bowl.