Simple soup, make for simplicity and health

As the Fall crisp air cools my body I look for something to warm my belly and do my soul a bit of good.  With this I find myself gravitating to the delicious comforts of soups.  Soups by their very nature are designed to create the warmth and nurturing feelings that come with them.  They remind you of all things comfort, loving, warm and soothing.

So, its natural that I would want to evoke these sentiments as I renew my health this Fall.  I did so with a variety of soup medleys using a variety of vegetables with different seasonings from various regions of culinary delight. One particular region of the world that I seem to fall in love with when it comes to a good simple soup is Japan.  I love the simplicity of their cooking and the less over-rich indulgence of flavors that speak to my belly when I am not feeling overly hungry.

The soup that I am going to describe to you is the base for a Japanese soup called dashi.  To this broth can be added any variety of vegetables that you desire. I find that the less you add to it the more you can enjoy the broth which is flavorful in itself. The main ingredient is kombu. Kombu is a type of seaweed, comes in dried form in packages which can be found at any health food store.

So here is what you do.

1 strip (2-inch) Kombu
4 cups water

Bring water and kombu to a boil.  Once it has boiled, reduce heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Remove kombu and there you have it. To this I add other seaweeds like dulse and wakame.  My favorite vegetable pairing is bok choy and mushrooms.  When I use mushrooms, I actually add it to the base so that the flavors become richer.  One in particular I like is shitake, which you can get dehydrated. This is the traditional way for a true dashi. Add a bit of Braggs or a touch of Nama Soy and you are good to go.  This simple soup is sure to please your belly and give you the warmth of the season and healing you require.  Let me know how you enjoy it and share your own variation with me.

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