Sometimes I purchase foods just because I like the way they look and sometimes just ‘cause I like their name and sometimes just because I know Steve will want to photograph them and then there are those more frequent times that I buy something simply because it is exactly what I want to eat at that moment. The other day it was a little bit of all 4 that led me to buy a few little clumps of hon-shimeji mushrooms at Eataly (eatalayny.com). They were charming to look at, had a not-easy-to-roll-off-the-tongue name, Steve was chompin’ at the bit to photograph them, and I knew that they would be the prefect addition to a cup of miso soup. Now, you can share the experience with us.
Miso Mushroom Soup
1 cup dried mushrooms
1 box button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced onion
½ cup diced turnip or rutabaga
About ¼ cup white miso
Soy sauce to taste
Couple of clusters of hon-shimeji (or other small, tender) mushrooms
Place the dried mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to rehydrate for about 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, lift the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and combine them with the button mushrooms, carrot, onion, and turnip in a large pot. Add 2 quarts of cold water and place over high heat.
Carefully strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a coffee filter to catch any grit and debris; then, add the soaking liquid to the pot.
Bring the broth mixture to a boil; then, lower the heat and cook at a low simmer for about 45 minutes or until the liquid is well-seasoned.
Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large clean saucepan, discarding the solids.
Place over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer. Stir in half of the miso. Taste and continue adding miso until the broth is a finely balanced mix of mushroom and miso. If necessary, season with a hit of soy sauce.
Cut a good part of the stem from the hon-shimeji mushrooms. Place an equal portion of the hon-shimeji into each of 6 to 8 soup bowls (I use beautiful hand-made Japanese tea bowls crafted by a friend). Fill with the broth and serve piping hot.