When we crave vegetable soup but we don’t want to go through the rigmarole of peeling and chopping various vegetables, we switch to the default—miso soup. Because it is already tasty and beautifully textured, it doesn’t need a chorus of ingredients to make it sing. Subtly sweet white asparagus is combined with grassy-tasting spinach to make this wonderful white asparagus and miso soup. Cooks in less than 10 minutes. Absolutely wonderful.
It’s canned white asparagus. I’m not a huge fan of canned vegetables but we have yet to discover where fresh white asparagus is sold in this country. If it is sold fresh at all. The spinach is fresh though. Not frozen but beautifully fresh with the stalks still busting with water. A regular can of white asparagus and two handfuls of spinach leaves are more than enough to make soup for four people.
We had this for lunch last weekend. It went with oyakodon (for us omnivores) and vegan mushrooms and chayote stir fry (for vegetarian Sam and for all of us too). So, if you’re trying to think what main dish or dishes can go with this soup, there, I just gave you two ideas. Of course, it will also go well with chicken teriyaki, katsudon or ebi tempura. Or all of them if you’re in a mood to cook a feast.
White Asparagus and Spinach Miso Soup
Drain the mushrooms; save the liquid from the can.
Add enough liquid from the asparagus to measure four cups. Pour into a pot and heat.
Add the spinach leaves and asparagus spears to the pot. Cook for a minute after the water boils.
Turn off the heat. Take half a cup of the liquid and pour into a bowl.
To the remaining liquid in the pot, stir in the dashi.
Add the miso paste to the liquid in the bowl and stir until smooth. Stir into the contents of the pot.
Serve the white asparagus and spinach soup immediately.