A highly tweakable soup. The oyster mushrooms can be substituted with just about any kind of mushroom. The eggplant and Chinese broccoli can be replaced by other vegetables that you prefer. What I wouldn’t recommend modifying is the first step in cooking the soup — slowly cooking the aromatics until soft and almost caramelized. That is what gives the soup the richness that I thought I could only get from boiling chicken, pork or beef bones. Apparently, it is easy to make an instant vegetable broth with a little patience.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 finger chili sliced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 small eggplant diced
- mushroom balls (see details), as many as you like
- Chinese broccoli as much as you like, cut into stalks and leaves
- 1 cup oyster mushrooms
- 2 heaping tablespoons miso paste
Heat the vegetable oil in a pot. Add the garlic, onion, tomatoes and chili. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened (it’ll take about seven minutes).
Add the eggplant and mushroom balls. Pour in enough water to cover. Sprinkle in more salt. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for five minutes.
Add the Chinese broccoli stalks and oyster mushrooms; cook for three minutes.
Take about half cup of the broth and pour into a cup. Stir in the miso paste until dissolved.
Add the Chinese broccoli leaves to the pot. Stir. Cook for a minute.
Turn off the heat. Stir in the miso paste mixture.