Meat and potatoes

While browsing miso soup recipes online, I found a miso soup with Canadian bacon and potatoes. I was intrigued. I’ve never had miso soup with Canadian bacon or ham in it, but I have seen meat in miso soup before. In fact, one of my favorite Japanese dishes is a miso stew with pork, sweet potato, shiitake, and other autumnal ingredients. I used to make it on Halloween, because the longer it sits on the stove, the richer the flavor becomes. Whether we were rushing to the door to hand out treats, or out on the streets ourselves, it was always on a low simmer. (By the way, miso soup, in contrast, should never be at a boiling point once the miso is added).

So I thought I’d give the Canadian bacon and potato miso soup a try. To my great surprise, it was delicious. But it has one more ingredient—celery leaves! And that was just the icing on the cake for me. The celery leaves gave it the zing that went so well with the down-homeyness of the potatoes and ham. Definitely added to the list of my favorites.

Today’s miso soup: Black Forest ham, potatoes and celery leaves. What’s important here is how you cut the ingredients. The potatoes are in small chunks as opposed to slices. It’s a method of cutting called rangiri. You can find a demonstration of rangiri here. For the ham, ideally I would have had circular slices and quartered them. And the celery leaves, which are almost more of a garnish should be chopped finely. Cook until potatoes are tender and then the ham is added, followed immediately by the miso. The celery leaves don’t enter the bowl until the bowl is on the table!

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