Collard Green Miso Soup

Have you ever tried the little packets of powdered miso Soup? You open the packet, pour into a bowl,  add hot water and stir, and there you have a delicious bowl of miso soup.
As tasty as those packaged miso soups may be, I prefer to make my own from scratch.  It's not difficult or time consuming, and unlike eating a packaged soup on the go, when I make mine at home I have the freedom to add all sorts of extras like tofu, seaweed, and scallions!  Today, however, I chose to make a Collard Green Miso soup.

I'm starting the new year off right.  Every chance I get I'm eating collard greens, and black eyed peas! You know what that means right? It means I'm guaranteed to meet success and attract a lot of money into my bank account in 2011. I take food traditions very seriously, especially this one.  Collard greens are not only going make me rich (!), they're also going to keep me uber healthy.  Collard greens boast cholesterol lowering abilities, and support our body's detox and anti-inflammatory systems.  They're full of antioxidants.  Like other cruciferous vegetables collard greens are also a great source of fiber.  If you want your body to benefit from the amazing offerings of the collard green, you've got to eat them often.  Well, not only collard greens (unless you're superstitious like I am), but all cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, and more.  Eat them, at the very least,  2-3 times a week, and your body will thank you. For more information on collards check them out at The World's Healthiest Foods website.

Collard Green Miso Soup
makes 6 bowls
(My boss, Eric, advised me to add the miso at the end of the process, instead of cooking it in the soup.  Supposedly this preserves the taste. So that is what I did, and with good results) 

1/2 bunch Collard Greens, rolled and cut into 2 inch ribbons (about 5 cups)
2 Scallions, white part separated and sliced, tops sliced for garnish
1 clove Garlic, minced
5 cups of water + 1 cup very hot water

1/2 block extra firm Tofu (1 cup),  cut into small squares
2 tsp Dried Chili, crushed or Chili Pepper Flakes
1/2 tbsp Ginger, grated

3-4 tbsp Miso Paste (more or less to taste)

1 tsp Soy Sauce (optional)
Toasted sesame oil

In a large pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then add collard greens, garlic, and white part of scallions. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir and cover.  Allow the greens to cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Add tofu, chili pepper, grated ginger, and three cups of water.  
In a small bowl add 3-4 tablespoons of miso paste to 1 cup of very hot water, and stir until it has dissolved and clouded the water.
Add the miso water to the pot, and turn heat down as low as possible.  Add more miso or soy sauce to the soup if necessary.  
Serve hot, topped with a few sliced scallions and a couple drops of toasted sesame oil.  

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