I was given an outline of this recipe by an acquaintance who lived in Kyushu, South West Japan and it's now become a household staple.
- Into a large saucepan add a mixture of vegetable oils (I suggest good quality olive oil, canola/rape seed oil, and sesame oil). A tablespoon or two in total should be enough.
- Gently heat a sliced onion until soft.
- Add some finely sliced peeled jerusalem artichoke/sunchoke (use one or two of these depending on the size). I initially substituted this for gobo/Japanese burdock root but found I preferred it this way. Naturally, if you can't find jerusalem artichoke, use matchstick pieces of peeled gobo instead. (For some reason, parsnips do NOT make a good alternative).
- Add a largish grated carrot.
* You can add a sliced potato at this point (optional).
- After the carrot has cooked for a couple of minutes, add a litre of hot water (just under two pints), some chopped leek, and allow to simmer for at least twenty minutes. But before then:
- Slice some cabbage leaves (3 or 4 will do) and add to the pan. When you add the cabbage depends on how firm you want the cabbage to be. Other vegetable can be substituted instead like spring greens, kale or spinach. Check the cooking times for each vegetable before adding.
- Once the soup has been simmered take it off the heat and add 1 heaped tablespoon of the best red miso (aka miso) you can find. As the miso is salty, there is no need to add any other kind of salt.
Check for taste. Miso varies in taste a great deal, feel free to add more spoonfuls if the soup requires it. If the miso you're using isn't rich enough, you might like to add some shoyu to taste.
This soup will last for a few days in the fridge, heat it up gently as you want it. But the taste of many misos is affected by heat, so take care not to cook the miso over too long a period (i.e. heating it up again and again won't do much for the taste)
You can make the soup more filling by adding a portion of brown rice to each bowl.