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Beef and Shiitake-Lemongrass Miso Soup

Cold season has approached and I am in serious need of hearty, warming foods. With all the veggies in this miso soup, it’s a wonderfully healthy and nourishing bowl of soothing deliciousness and umami glory. Ginger adds an incredible zing, lemongrass, a bright, fresh flavor, shiitake mushrooms a boost for the immune system and nutrient dense baby Bok Choy oodles of vitamin C and carotenoids (vitamin A). An absolutely amazing blend for maintaining a healthy immune system!

Beef and Shiitake-Lemongrass Miso Soup

Miso is prized for its rich, complex flavor and its ability to add the “mmmm” factor to nearly any dish. This taste sensation is called “umami,” also known as the “fifth taste”. Not only does miso play an important role in making food taste delicious, it’s also amazing for its dense concentration of nutrients and remarkable disease-fighting properties. So it’s great to get a good dose of it regularly!

Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, shiitake mushrooms are one of nature’s most powerful immune system boosters and are said to protect against so many health problems, ranging from the common cold to even cancer.

1-ShiitakeMushrooms-300x200

Shiitake Mushrooms

And there is an added bonus! Shiitake mushrooms also help reduce tooth decay! Read more here.

For extra heartiness, I add udon noodles and rump steak to my veggie packed miso soup. Any type of noodles can be used, and it can be easily transformed into a vegetarian dish by skipped out on the meat all together. With its powerhouse ingredients, it’s perfectly as satisfying as a healthy bowl of vegetarian goodness. Enjoy!

BEEF AND SHIITAKE-LEMONGRASS MISO SOUP
Serves 4-6, as a starter

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
300 g rump steak, trimmed and cut into bite-sized thin strips
150 g shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 2 handfuls)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 stalk lemongrass
1 cup beef broth
3 cups water
3 tablespoons miso paste
5 green onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
6-8 bunches fresh baby Bok Choy, trimmed
2 x 200 g packages udon noodles (these can be found in an Asian supermarket)
1 handful cilantro leaves

METHOD:
1. Heat oil in a large sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add beef, mushrooms, garlic, ginger and soy sauce and toss to coat. Cook, stirring once or twice, until beef and mushrooms are lightly browned on edges, about 5 minutes.

2. Trim two of the lemon-grass stalks of their toughest outer layers, then bruise them with the back of a knife and cut it into 3 pieces. Add lemongrass to pot.

3. Pour in beef broth and water, increase heat to medium-high. Stir in miso paste, green onions, carrots, Bok Choy and udon noodles. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes. When vegetables are tender, remove from heat.

4. Remove lemongrass from pot and discard. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

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