Miso soup

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There is something about miso soup that makes you feel like you are becoming instantly more healthy as you slurp. It is tasty and cleansing and this recipe contains noodles to make the dish a little bit more filling.

Miso soup with noodles, pak choi and mushrooms (serves 2-3)

1 vegetable stock cube

1 inch of ginger, peeled and finally sliced

2 tbsp. (I use 2 small sachets) of miso paste

100g dried rice noodles

1-2 pak choi, leaves cut off and stalks sliced in lengths

2-3 spring onions, finely sliced

100g mushrooms, finely sliced

1. Put the stock cube in a medium sized saucepan with 600ml of water and the sliced ginger and bring it to the boil. Add the miso paste and stir well before adding the pak choi stalks and mushrooms.

2.  Leave this simmering away for about two minutes so that the stalks have softened. Then add the pak choi leaves and the noodles and leave for another minute or so until the noodles are cooked.

3. Serve the soup straight away in bowls and garnish with the spring onion.

Serving Tip: If you leave the dish too long before serving, the noodles may absorb too much water and become soggy so make sure you it the whole lot whilst it is still fresh!



Sushi, oh such good sushi!

From top left going anticlockwise: Unagi Nigirizushi, Salmon and Tuna Nigirizushi, Temakizushi
From top left going clockwise: Unagi Nigirizushi, Salmon and Tuna Nigirizushi, Temakizushi

Edamame is an absolute jewel in the Oxford crown (the foodie crown that is). If you live in or near to Oxford- or are thinking of visiting anytime soon- I urge you to try it. This unique, independent restaurant serves Japanese food (albeit at slightly restricted times of day) and houses a brilliant sushi night every Thursday. As a restaurant, it is not pretentious, it is not expensive, it is rather, fairly basic to the naked eye, but it is superb: there tends to be a queue most nights! It is not really the place for an intimate meal with a loved one as you will probably sit around a table with fellow diners, but it is cosy, relaxed and fun.

When it comes to the food, no matter what you think you like, I would recommend tasting a little bit of as much as possible. Particular sushi highlights for me have to be the spicy tuna gunkanzushi (fresh tuna with chilli), the unagi nigirizushi (freshwater eel with a sweet soy and eel sauce), the makizushi rolls (salmon, avocado, cucumber and pickled radish) and the miso soup… so, pretty much all of it! I previously had it in my head that I didn’t like miso soup, but how wrong I was. The soup at Edamame is sweet and salty and delicious, all at the same time. It is home-made, and you can really tell- it tastes so good and is also really good for you… full of antioxidants!

From top left clockwise: Makizushi Rolls, Spicy Tuna Gunkanzushi, Miso Soup
From top left clockwise: Makizushi Rolls, Spicy Tuna Gunkanzushi, Miso Soup

The sushi is priced at about £2-£4 for 2 pieces so you can have as much or as little as you like. I don’t care what you get, but if you have the opportunity, please try it! Just check the slightly unconventional opening times before you go: http://www.edamame.co.uk/.

Last of the summer tomatoes

Making your own soup is so easy and produces such tasty results that it seems a shame to go out and buy it. It may take a little more time than heating up a supermarket bought tub but if you can spare a bit of time, treat yourself to the fresh flavours of the home made version.

I used fresh plum tomatoes from the garden to make this soup but if you can’t get your hands on any, standard tomatoes are fine to use.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil (serves 4)

1kg tomatoes

1 ½ red peppers

2 onions sliced

800ml vegetable or chicken stock

25g butter

2 handfuls of roughly chopped basil



Olive oil

1tbsp thyme

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ᵒ/Gas mark 6. Halve the tomatoes and cut the pepper into large strips. Put them face up in a roasting tray and sprinkle generously with salt, olive oil, and a little thyme.
  2. Roast the tomatoes and pepper in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the butter in a large pan and fry the onions until soft but not coloured.
  4. When the tomatoes and peppers are done, add them to the pan of onions along with the stock and plenty of pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the roughly chopped basil and leave the soup to simmer again for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Leave the soup to cool slightly and then put in a blender for a minute or so until you like the consistency.