In western culture, we generally drink our miso soup before our mains arrive. In Japan, it signifies the end of a meal. Which is better? As long as the soup is hot, who cares?
I have however, in my mixed up training of French and Asian techniques (aka wannabe Tetsuya) have a recipe for to die for 'Blue Swimmer Crab Miso Soup'.
Blue swimmer crab miso soup served with homemade chirashi
So simple! All you need is:
1/2x onion (or 6 eschallots if you want a sweeter, crabby soup), finely diced
2x garlic clove
1x ripe truss tomato
1x blue swimmer crab, broken up into pieces
600ml chicken stock, 100ml water
2x portions of instant miso soup
(the ones that you get in supermarket in serves of 8 usually)
All you do is sweat of the garlic and the onions on medium heat in some olive oil and SEASON (salt and pepper); this is the most important part in sweating off things in ANY dish in ANY part of the recipe as it brings out of the flavour of what you're sweating!
Next, add the blue swimmer crab until it turns sufficently red, then add the tomatoes and the water. Let it boil and reduce by half, then add the stock. Bring that to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes.
Next, grab a hand blender (or if it's only of mickey mouse size, use your food processor), blend the sheeba out of it, and strain (don't forget to strain, or someone will choke on broken crab bones) back into the pot!
Next, Add the miso soup sachets and all optional condiments that your heart desires (spring onions, silken tofu, wakame seaweed, sesame seeds, etc), If you wish to choose the tasty but unhealthy path, demiglace/finish with a knob of good butter.
There you have it, my blue swimmer crab miso soup (as served at my blog launch luncheon)