This soup serves two purposes. I strain the broth and use that when sick, cold or flu. I know it helps me to heal and recover quickly and the Shitake mushroom also promotes a deep, restful sleep. That is a useful property if you’re the type person who has trouble staying in bed when sick. Resting is one way to ensure all your energy is going to healing. You can make this with chicken, vegetable or beef broth. I like it with Shiro Miso as the broth flavoring agent. This light, sweet miso has many live enzymes that also promote healing. Once you have strained the broth, you have a flavorful rice dish which you or your family can eat. One note about using miso. Because it does contain live enzymes, you don’t want to boil it or it will kill the enzymes. You actually add it after the soup is cooked and cooled a little. I always keep some of this broth in the freezer, ready for any health emergency.
Shitake Mushroom Broth
3 or 4 fresh or dried shitake mushrooms, sliced
6 cups water or broth (if using miso, don’t add now).
3 green onions, trimmed and sliced 1/4″
1/2 cup rice, brown or white
2 or more TBL Shiro Miso – enough for the right amount of salt for your taste.
Bring all the ingredients (except the miso) to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is done. 20 minutes for white rice, 50 minutes for brown. If you’ve used a broth, season with salt to your taste. You’re ready to strain it and drink the broth. If you’re going to use miso, allow the soup to cool at least until you can touch the pot with your hand and not be burned. Miso is a very thick paste so it’s easiest to blend in if you “soften” it before adding it to the pot. Put the miso in a small bowl, add 1/4 cup broth and mash and mix with a spoon until the miso is thin enough to pour into your soup. Stir it in, blend, taste, add more miso if you desire more salt.
Check an oriental store for shitake mushrooms and Shiro Miso. The Shiro Miso I have always carried had to be refrigerated. A large healthy food store might carry both these items.