Shiitake stock lends an especially rich flavor to this hearty soup. Other vegetables or ingredients such as tofu or fu may be added or substituted, but if shiitake are omitted, it is best to start with vegetable or kombu stock rather than water.
6 cups water
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 carrot, sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped greens (such as kale or mustard greens)
1 cup barley or brown rice miso
Soak shiitake in the 6 cups water overnight or for at least two hours. Remove shiitake, cut off and discard tough stems, thinly slice the caps, and place in a pot with the soaking water. Bring to a simmer, add sliced carrot, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add greens and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more. Turn off heat. Dilute the miso in a little of the broth, then add to soup. Allow to steep briefly before serving.