Miso Asparagus Soup

In Michigan, we have to wait so long for our gardens to come back to life! Asparagus is one of the first green things that pop out of the dormant soil. Because our state is the top grower of this nutritious crop, local farmers’ markets are flush with the locally-grown green stalks. You can definitely taste the difference when you purchase directly from farmers at the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Farmers’ Markets. This salad is an example of something you can make in bulk and serve for lunches all week long. Buckwheat in its purest form is high in protein and gluten-free. Add your favorite protein to personalize this delicious entrée salad.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 lb soba noodles
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1⁄2 lb medium asparagus spears (about 10-12 spears), chopped into 2-inch pieces with

tough ends removed

  • 2 scallions, chopped finely
  • 2 cups napa cabbage, chopped
  • 2 medium radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 11⁄2 tsp red or white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated on a microplane or box grater
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or minced
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, white and/or black

Directions

  1. Boil the buckwheat soba noodles in salted water for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped asparagus to the noodles in boiling water. Cook until the asparagus is just tender and bright green, for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Drain asparagus and soba in a colander. Run cool tap water over the mixture until it is totally chilled.
  4. Slice the radishes into thin coins. Chop the cabbage and scallions.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the miso paste and 2 tablespoons of warm water until the miso has thinned out. Then add lemon zest, lemon juice, grated ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sriracha. Slowly drizzle in the oil and whisk until thick. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper if needed.
  6. Add the asparagus, soba noodles,radishes, cabbage, and scallions and lightly toss to combine. Toss gently.
  7. Top with toasted sesame seeds to serve.
  8. (Optional: Serve with pressed and grilled tofu for a complete plant-based meal.)

BIO:

Chef Allison Anastasio of Last Bite Chef is a personal chef and culinary educator based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is passionately dedicated to nourishing families by providing them not only with nutritious whole foods prepared from scratch, but also with peace of mind, knowing that they have more time to sit with each other and connect at the end of a long day. She has a passion for using local products and seasonal produce and showcasing intense global flavors. She delights in teaching people of all skill levels, from novice cook to aspiring professional. Read more about her and her classes at www.lastbitechef.com.