BY SUMI HAHN
Start to finish: 25 minutes
from Edible Seattle January/February 2010
1 pound fresh winter spinach
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 stalk minced green onion
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sesame oil or olive oil in a pinch
6 cups dashi, either instant or homemade. Beef, chicken, or vegetable stock can be substituted in a pinch
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso; add more to taste
2 green onions, chopped into 1-inch lengths
optional: 1 dozen small sweet clams, well-scrubbed and shocked clean in salt water
optional: 1 cup cubed firm tofu
Carefully rinse the spinach to remove any grit and blanch in boiling water. Squeeze out excess liquid and chop. Combine soy sauce, minced green onion, garlic and sesame oil. Thoroughly dress chopped spinach with this mixture and set aside.
Make the dashi (see note below). If using stock, heat until the liquid comes to a boil, then remove from heat.
Dissolve the miso into the dashi. Add the spinach mixture and green onion lengths. Adjust seasonings by adding more miso or a few drops of soy sauce. Bring the soup to a simmer. If using clams or tofu, add at this time and simmer gently until clams open or tofu is heated through.
There are various brands of instant dashi at Uwajiwaya; look for them in the soup section. For homemade dashi, bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add two strips of kombu and simmer for 4 minutes. Turn off heat and add 1/2 cup of bonito shavings and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove kombu and strain out bonito. Vegetarians may omit the bonito and substitute dried shitake mushrooms or simply use kombu by itself.
*Vegan (with vegetable stock)
*Gluten-free (with gluten-free soy sauce)