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Japanese Miso Soup with Tofu and Leeks

(Tofu to negi no miso shiru)

Tasty, lovely to look at, and a textural pleasure to eat, I recommend you serve this simple soup in deeply colored bowls (black or red lacquer--especially with lids--is ideal, but not necessary). For a fuller background on when and how to serve this soup in a traditional Japanese meal (often, breakfast), please click HERE. Serve hot to 4 people as a course.

Wash and dry the leek, then slice as finely as possible on the diagonal. Divide among the 4 bowls. (Ideally, the bowls will be hot--from the oven, if china; from being filled with hot water, if lacquer).

Cut the tofu into small cubes and divide them among the 4 bowls.

Heat the dashi in a saucepan. Whisk a little with the miso, to soften it, then strain the liquid back into the pan and take off the heat immediately. Ladle the soup over the tofu and leeks into the four bowls and serve immediately.