I've written before about the joys of miso + 1, an equation which clearly proves that miso paste is the most simple and versatile path to soup. Add any one (compatible) ingredient and you've got an elegant and easy bowlful with practically zero effort.
But in thinking about miso + 1, I overlooked the even more minimalist miso + none. Or rather, miso plus water. Yes, that alone is food.
If you have good miso, which is neither hard to find nor costly, you've got soup. What else can you say that about? Miso, in and of itself, has an even more complex flavor profile than a bloody brownie.
The only challenging step is finding the right miso. After years of experimentation with red and brown, I've finally settled on white. I now use Westbrae Natural's "organic mellow white miso" and I'm never going back. I had a mug of it just yesterday, and nothing could have better suited the cool yet sunny Spring weather. The only possible improvement would be if Westbrae came up with a Beck tribute miso called Mellow Gold. (I can just see him staring into a bowl, tripping out on those ever shifting clouds of soy.)
A satisfying -- not to mention probiotic -- bowl of soup that's as easy to make as stirring. I challenge anyone to come up with an faster, healthier, more delicious snack that could still be considered cooking.
Recipe: Really, Really Simple Miso
1 tbsp miso paste per person
1 soup bowl's worth of water
1. Heat the water in a tea kettle, microwave, or under a magnifying glass.
2. Dissolve the miso in a small amount of the water, then add the rest.