Meatball Miso Soup

Despite the warm weather today, I had a craving for a thick miso soup.  I generally only make thick soups in winter but I went with the craving today.  I tried something a little different by cooking it in the slow cooker.  I usually make it on the stove but I have just started to be able to play with the slow cooker I bought in the middle of summer.

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Meatball Miso Soup

Meatballs

IMG_0312200g ground pork-beef mix (more common than ground beef or pork in my local supermarket)

1/3 carrot – grated

1 bunch mitsuba (honeywort)

5cm negi (Welsh onion) – minced (any type of onion would work

1 egg

1-2 tablespoons miso (two for a simmered soup, one if you use the meatballs for something else)

1/2 cup panko (raw bread crumbs) or any other starch of choice

2 tablespoons cooking sake

salt and pepper to taste

Mix everytIMG_0314hing together in a bowl with your hands.  Form meatballs and place on tray.  Brown the meatballs in a frying pan.  If you are making a simmered soup you don’t necessarily need to cook them all the way through but the browning is necessary for flavor.  Add meatballs to the slow cooker or a soup pot.  Don’t discard drippings as they will be used to brown the onion for the soup.  This made twice the number of meatballs I needed so I froze the rest.

The Soup

2 small potatoes – chopped to the size of your choice

2/3 carrot – chopped to the size of your choice

10cm burdock root – sliced

1/2 onion – sliced thinly

1/2 cup barley (in Japan this will be in the rice section as something you can add to rice)

dashi (soup stock) to taste

miso to taste

Brown the onions in the meatball drippings.  Add the onions to the slow cooker or soup pot.  Use some water to wash the drippings out of the pan and add to slow cooker or soup pot.  Add the potatoes, carrot, burdock rood and barley.  Add enough water to just cover the top of the potatoes.  Add in the soup stock mix – I used about a tablespoon.  Don’t add the miso until the end.  Cook for two hours on high and turn down to low.  Add the miso after the soup has stopped bubbling.  You can eat right away or keep it on low for a while longer. The soup will be quite thick.