Morning Miso Soup
An Energizing Soup to get Your
Family Going in the Morning
(Jessica Moore reviews Larry's Miso Soup Recipe)
By Larry Cook
Many years ago, when I first learned about Macrobiotics, I tasted miso soup for the first time. Since then, I developed a very delicious morning soup which provides grounding energy for the day. Let me explain why.
The Macrobiotic philosophyprimarily from Japanholds that all of the universe, including food, has an inherent polarity, either yin/feminine or yang/masculine, and that our goal is to eat and live in balance with both polarities. Yin is expanding and yang is contracting. When people are too "spacey" or unable to hold their thoughts, they are considered too yin. When they are too aggressive or uncreative, they are considered too yang. The primary goal in Macrobiotics is to bring the consciousness to a slightly yang state, so as to attract the creativity of yin energy while retaining the grounding yang energy.
Sugar is considered extremely yin, and drugs are most yin. Meat, especially red meat, is considered very yang, with salt a close second. (See chart for relative yin/yang balance of foods.) The ideal is to stay away from extremes in food so we can avoid extremes in consciousness (too spacey or too aggressive).
Many children often have trouble focusing their thoughts in school. If we look at the problem macrobiotically, we'll find that many, if not most children, eat sugar-coated cereal in the morning. Eating this type of breakfast is a contributing factor to ADD/ADHD and non-attentiveness in school.1 In one study, children drew identifiable pictures at home before breakfast, but at school two hours after eating sugar-coated cereals, they drew mostly unreadable squiggly lines.
Ever feel not quite with it when you go to work? Morning Miso Soup can change that!
The Morning Miso Soup is a very yang breakfast that I have found to be nourishing, hearty and grounding. I had this soup served to film crews in Hollywood, and it was such a hit that crew members were asking me every day for the recipe! Even my finicky nephews like it! So, try the soup and give some to your children. I think you'll find it as delightful as I do.
Morning Miso Soup
Makes two bowls of soup
(For best taste and health benefits, use organic ingredients whenever possible.)
3 cups water
1/8 cup diced burdock root (very grounding)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/3 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 cup chili beans
1/2 cup chopped kale (high in "B" vitamins)
2 heaping tablespoons of almond butter
1/8 cup diced scallions (green onions)
1 heaping tablespoon dulse seaweed (excellent for the thyroid gland)
1/4 cup chopped tofu (Small Planet's "garlic & herb" is very tasty)
2 heaping tablespoons of miso paste (Master Miso's "barley" is very good)
1 tablespoon flax seed oil
Bring the three cups of water to a boil. Add grated ginger, broccoli, burdock root and chili beans, bring back to a boil and boil 1 minute. Add kale and boil 30 seconds. Turn off heat but leave pot on burner. Add almond butter and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add scallions, tofu and seaweed and stir briefly. Add the miso paste last, and to taste. Miso can be easily burned, so you want to cool the soup a bit with the tofu, scallions and seaweed, and then add the miso paste. Stir until dissolved. (When re-heating the soup, do not boil!)
Pour into bowls and add 1 tablespoon of flax oil in each bowl. Flax Oil adds flavor, and it also helps to optimize brain functioning and lower bad cholesterol.
The secret to this recipe is the almond butter and ginger. Rotate different veggies and beans for variety. If you feel really industrious, cook up some squash, puree it, and add it to the soup (this is really delicious!). Enjoy!
1 There are other reasons for ADD/ADHD, and I cover them in my article "ADD/ADHD: The Causes & Cures."
Also see our three part series on ADD/ADHD