Quick Miso Soup with Rice Noodles

Want to know a dirty secret?  I love leftovers.  Not because they taste better, but because the hardest part is figuring out how long to nuke them.  Which leaves more time to make a quick and tasty soup from scratch using only what's hiding in your fridge and pantry.

Of course you have to have an eclectic fridge and pantry or be willing to make a very forgiving soup.  For example, my usual miso soup contains scallions.  There were probably scallions hiding in my garden ... somewhere underneath the recent snow.  So baby spinach, picked out of the package of "spring" greens in my fridge.  The seaweed was a handful from a package in the pantry.

The rice noodles were leftover from a package purchased for a dinner the other night, except I bought the medium noodles instead of the fine called for in the recipe.  Somehow, no one died, but I still had a "roll" taking up space in the pantry so it went into the soup.  I thought it made the soup a little more substantial.  theHubby, however, said I could leave it out next time and he won't mind a bit.

TIP ALERT!  Miso does not blend without a fight.  To avoid salty miso lumps in your soup, stir miso witih a small amount of hot liquid until the mixture is smooth, then add to whatever you are making.

Quick Miso Soup with Rice Noodles
Yield: 2 servings

2 cups water
1/4 cup peas (if frozen, no need to defrost)
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 rolled segment (from a package of 6) medium rice noodles, broken into about 2-inch segments (optional)
1/4 cup dried seaweed (whatever style you have on hand)
3 Tbl. red or white miso
1/2 lightly packed cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup firm or extra firm tofu, 1/2-inch dice

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat.  Add  peas and carrots.  Return to a gentle boil, then add rice noodles; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add seaweed; continue to simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove about 1/4 cup of the liquid; whisk in miso until smooth, then return mixture to the soup.

Add spinach.  Let wilt, which will happen quickly.

Gently stir in tofu.

Remove from heat.  Divide soup between 2 soup bowls; serve hot.


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