For one person (from Cooking the Whole Foods Way, by Christina Pirello)

1 cup spring or filtered water

1 1-inch piece of wakame, soaked and diced

Several pieces each of a few vegetables

(onion, daikon, carrot, cabbage, squash, etc)

1 tsp barley or brown rice miso

Green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Bring water and wakame to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 3 minutes. Add vegetables and simmer, covered, over low heat 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender.

Remove a small bit of broth, add miso and stir until dissolved. Stir miso mixture back into the soup and simmer, uncovered, without boiling, 3 to 4 minutes more. Garnish with green onions, and serve hot.

NOTES: It is very important that you don’t boil the miso. The beneficial enzymes present need warmth to activate, but boiling will destroy their benefits, leaving you only with the flavor.

Garnishing isn’t arbitrary or done simply becuase it makes soup look beautiful. Garnishing adds a final touch of fresh, light energy to a soup that has cooked over fire for several minutes. All soups need that kind of freshness. You can use anything raw and fresh, such as green onions, parsley, sprouts, grated carrot, daikon, or gingerroot, to name just a few options.