I mentioned last week that my family and I caught the common cold a couple of weeks ago, prompting me to make that glorious chicken stock. I had planned to make Nobu’s famous miso marinated black cod and had a bunch of miso paste left over. (You must wait until next week for the Nobu recipe, it is amazing – go out and buy your white miso paste today!) I decided to put together a miso chicken soup.

First, let me tell you about miso. Miso is a deliciously salty condiment manufactured in Japan. It has many variations of color and flavor depending on its length of fermentation. To produce miso, soybeans and rice or wheat are combined with salt and a live culture and fermented in large vats  from a couple of months up to three years. The darker the miso, the longer it fermented. Be sure to check that the miso you purchase does not include wheat or barley if you are gluten-free. The fermentation process of miso allows the body to extract the nutritional characteristics of the soybean which contain a rich source of proteins, fibre, minerals, vitamins, and isoflavones.

I used a variety of recipes for miso soup to come up with this one which includes many things that my family enjoys like mushrooms, chicken, ginger, garlic and rice noodles. The recipe is very flexible, so add or subtract to your liking. This soup has become my family’s favorite chicken soup to date!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large carrots, rinsed, peeled and sliced
1/2 package of fresh mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
4 green onions, rinsed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 chicken breasts
8 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 package of enoki mushrooms, rinsed and pulled apart into 6 chunks
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 tablespoons white miso paste
1 package of rice soba noodles

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat, add next three ingredients and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add minced garlic and ginger and cook for one minute. Then add chicken breasts and stock, let come to a boil, then turn to simmer and cover for 30 minutes. Remove chicken, keeping heat very low, no more than a light simmer, add the next three ingredients. Meanwhile chop cooked chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes and return to soup. Meanwhile, heat a large pot of water for noodles, cook noodles according to package instructions. Turn off heat from the soup and add miso paste to the soup; stir to combine. Place cooked noodles in a bowl then ladle soup over noodles, serve warm and enjoy.