Posts Tagged ‘miso soup’

Vegetable Miso Soup for Gil

November 17, 2014

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This month’s Kosher Connection recipe link-up is dedicated to cookbook author and food historian Rabbi Gil Marks. To honor him, we are offering up our best “get well” recipes, along with our heartfelt wishes for him to have a refuah shelaimah.

Every kosher food blogger is indebted to Gil for pioneering in kosher food journalism. Before we were all blogging, before there was a Joy of Kosher Magazine, there was The Kosher Gourmet Magazine. Gil was way ahead of his time with this magazine, which he launched in the late eighties. (As you can see from the above photo, I still have back issues of the magazine. I regularly make the cranberry applesauce from the Cheshavan-Kislev 5748 issue. I highly recommend this recipe for Thanksgiving or Chanukah.)

In the late nineties, Gil began publishing a series of cookbooks: The World of Jewish Cooking, The World of Jewish Entertaining and The World of Jewish Desserts. His next collection of traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardic recipes had a twist: all the recipes were vegetarian. This inventive book, Olive Trees and Honey, won a James Beard award.

Gil’s books are characterized not only by a tremendous curiosity about global Jewish cuisine, but also by a scholarliness about the origin of recipes. His most recent book, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, is a fascinating read. I treasure my copies of his books for their fascinating information and practical recipes. His book on entertaining has very valuable advice for planning large gatherings (see the chapter, “Guide for the Perplexed Host”).

I had the privilege to take a class with Gil in the late nineties and found him to be a charming as well as knowledgeable teacher.

Back in 2010, when Gil had just released his Encyclopedia, I sent him  a query about a Ukrainian cookie called Kosicky or Koshyky. He was very nice about it. He promptly e-mailed me back, telling me that he hadn’t heard of the cookie, and that he asked his Ukrainian contacts, and was not able to get the recipe from them, either. Rather than give me nothing, he sent a recipe for a Ukranian butter cookie called Kolachka, and gave some sage advice about prying the recipe from my friend’s mother. So kind!

For this linkup, I am offering a quick and easy recipe for vegetable miso soup along with my wishes for Gil to have a speedy recovery.

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Savory Richness Sans Beef: Vegan Onion Soup

October 22, 2012

You can make a delicious, rich tasting onion soup without using beef broth. To give the soup  savory depth, take a tip from chef John Schenk: use miso. Why does this work? Because miso is rich in umami, the taste sensation of savoriness. Soup mixes sometimes add savoriness through MSG, but miso is a healthful alternative.

Wines and other alcoholic beverages have umami and can release umami flavor in other ingredients. In order to further add some umami oomph to my onion soup, I added a bit of port, but I think sherry or red wine would have done as well.

The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present the first kosher recipe challenge.  Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.

This month is root vegetables!  Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.

(Is the onion a true root vegetable? Well, yes and no. It counts as a root vegetable, although technically it is a bulb.)



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Miso Happy

May 16, 2012

Is there anything as cheering on a gray, rainy day as a bowl of miso soup? It is so healthy and energizing.

This isn’t authentic miso soup, but more of a simple cheat. All the same, it strongly reminds me of the kind of soup I have had in restaurants.

It is really pretty easy. Combine miso, water, a little soy sauce, cubed tofu, sliced scallions and sliced mushrooms. Heat to not quite boiling. Put a spoonful of fried onions in a ceramic bowl, add the soup.

Miso is very versatile–no need to save just for soup making (although I hear that a little bit added to French Onion soup is fabulous). You can use it in dressings, spreads and marinades for fish, poultry and vegetables.

Miso-glazed cod is a classic, but you can use miso on salmon, too. I concocted a marinade with 2 Tbl. white miso, 2 Tbl. Mirin, 1 Tbl. honey, the juice of half a lime, a few shakes of dried ginger and a pinch of white pepper. This is enough marinade for a pound of fish. Roast at 425 for 25 minutes.

Here is another thing you can do with miso that is extraordinarily easy: combine peanut butter (2 Tbl.), miso (2 tsp.), and honey (to taste, maybe a teaspoon or two). Spread this on toast and top with sliced apple, pear or banana.  This sandwich idea (with the apples) originally came from Serendipity. The recipe was published in The Serendipity Cookbook, which is out of print. I don’t have a copy of that book and can’t find the recipe online, so my version is from memory. Actually, I think I remember first learning about it from this episode of this show, where the owner of the restaurant Serendipity, Calvin Holt, demonstrated how to make the sandwich. I think the original sandwich involved alfalfa sprouts, but I can’t precisely remember.

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