Asari miso is a Zen soup for days when you’re feeling virtuous and rushed. Making it won’t drive you crazy, and eating it will make you feel good. Here, miso gets a seafoody twist with tiny Manila, aka Asari, clams or cockles (the more common littlenecks will do in a pinch).
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
2 carrots, 1 minced and 1 cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 stalk celery, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
4 to 6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
½ pound Manila (Asari) clams or cockles, well scrubbed
3 tablespoons red miso
7 ounces soft tofu, cut into small cubes
Fresh chives, cut into ½-inch lengths
Toasted nori, cut with scissors into 1-inch-long strips
1. Add the oil to a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add minced onion, minced carrot and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add stock, sliced carrots and mushrooms, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add clams to pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the clams have opened, about 6 minutes. Lower heat.
2. Place miso in a small bowl. Add a small ladleful of the soup to the miso, and stir to dissolve. Stir into the pot. Add tofu. Heat 1 minute, but do not
boil. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chives and nori.