Here’s a super simple recipe from our good friend Annie Fenn, M.D., chef and founder of the Brain Health Kitchen. The Brain Health Kitchen is a cooking school that teaches people how to cook and eat more brain-healthy foods. Thank you, Annie, for all you do for WAM.
This easy miso soup packs in whole food soy ingredients enjoyed by the dementia-free centenarians of Okinawa, Japan. When purchasing green tea bags, look for unflavored, organic tea. Green tea is an excellent source of polyphenols, which are key antioxidants for brain health. Because polyphenols can be inactivated with high heat, be sure to brew the tea with water that is hot but not boiling, and simmer the soup gently.
When shopping for miso paste, look for organic, low sodium miso. You’ll find miso pastes labelled yellow, sweet white, chickpea, and red. The more mildly flavored sweet white miso works best with this soup.
- 1½ cups just-boiled water
- 2 green tea bags, unflavored
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated or very finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
- ½ cup firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes
- ⅓ cup low-sodium white miso paste
- 2 cups mustard greens or another hearty green, cut into ¼-inch slices
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced scallions, light green and white parts
- Portobello bacon, to serve, optional
Steep the green tea bags in the water for 4 minutes. Discard the tea bags.
Heat the oil and ginger in a medium pot over medium heat until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the broth and green tea. Bring to just below a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Place the miso paste in a small bowl and add a ladleful of the hot broth. Stir with a fork until combined and add back into the soup along with the tofu.
Add the greens, soy sauce, and scallions. Simmer gently until the greens are tender and the tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Ladle soup into bowls and top with Portobello Bacon, if using.