Not for the faint of heart, this soup is based on a chicken broth that packs a sinus-clearing wallop of white pepper and ginger that’s rounded out and toned down, just a hair, with a bit of white miso. You can customize it with paper-thin slices of whatever fresh vegetables are in season, making it a nutritional powerhouse that is the perfect antidote for a winter that just won’t quit.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2- 2 tablespoons grated ginger (no need to peel it)
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground white peppercorns (ground finely)
3 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup water
1-2 tablespoons shiro miso paste (white miso)
Various fresh vegetables, thinly sliced, to serve (spinach, green onion, black radish, and carrots pictured above)
Cooked pasta or grains, to serve (gramigna pictured above)
1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil, onions, ginger, and a healthy pinch of salt over medium low heat. You don’t want any browning here- you’re just “sweating” the onions until they are soft and translucent. Once they reach that point, stir in the white pepper and cook for another minute.
2. Add the mushrooms, stock, and water and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, then remove from heat and whisk in the miso paste. Taste (it’ll have a kick from the white pepper and ginger) and adjust salt as needed, then let sit for ten minutes or so to let the flavors mingle a bit before serving.
3. Place a scoop of pasta or grains in a large soup bowl, followed by a couple ladles of the broth and a generous handful of fresh vegetables. Serve immediately.