Getting a jump start on cold and flu season doesn’t necessarily mean piping hot bowls of chicken soup. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, “If one mineral were awarded first prize for its beneficial effects on immune function, it would be zinc. A cofactor in a wide variety of enzymatic reactions, zinc is critical to immune function and wound healing.” Fortunately, miso, a food often thought of as just a Japanese condiment, is a good source of zinc along with copper and manganese, two other trace minerals that are essential for energy production and antioxidant defenses. But miso is best handled with care, as heating it can destroy many of its health benefits. That sounds like it contradicts the very idea of a miso soup recipe, doesn’t it?
Enter Ani, raw food guru, and her latest cookbook, Ani’s Raw Food Asia. She has harnessed the power of miso and several healthy greens in an uncooked miso soup recipe. Her version is below, but I want to add a few quick notes before you jump right in:
Soy-Free: Many people assume that miso is always a soy-based food, but there are many varieties that are soy-free. Miso fermented from brown rice, chickpeas, or barley is fairly easy to find in North America, at natural food stores, online, or even in some conventional grocers. In Asia, you can even find millet- or rye-based miso paste.
Temperature: If you are like me, you may prefer your soup on the warm side. If you opt to heat the broth at all, be sure to add the miso at the very end, just before serving, to preserve its enzymatic benefits. Ani’s vegan miso soup recipe is served lukewarm, at room temperature.
Want More Raw Food Asia? Try Ani’s Summer Rolls with Ginger “Peanut” Sauce