Most people are familiar with miso soup (I'll post a recipe for that soon!), which is probably THE most well-known Japanese soup. However, in Japanese cuisine, suimono/osuimono, or 'clear' soup is also very popular and one of my all-time favorites.
This clear soup is richly flavored with three different types of Japanese mushrooms, all of which can easily be found at any Asian market, and many "natural" groceries (like Whole Foods & Earth Fare). I'm a huge fan of shiitake mushrooms, and have featured them numerous times on this blog. Enoki mushrooms are a delicate mushroom, long & thin - they've always been a favorite of mine, especially when my Mom uses them in her miso soup like I do! Shimeji mushrooms are nutty, firm, and full of umami flavor - they're used in a lot of stir-fry and nabe dishes.
This is one of those rich yet delicate soups I can enjoy as an entire meal with a small bowl of rice, and maybe a small plate of pickled daikon or sauteed spinach. The soup is full of flavor, but completely vegetarian, and vegan if you substitute a vegan dashi!
Japanese Mushroom Soup
adapted from Humble Bean
1/2 pack enoki mushrooms
1/2 pack shimeji mushrooms
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 piece abuurage
1 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 tsp mirin
Trim the ends off of the enoki mushrooms, and separate the mushrooms into small bunches.
Trim the ends off of the shimeji mushrooms, and separate the mushrooms into small bunches.
Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms and slice into thin strips.
Boil the abuurage for about 1 minute to remove the excess oil from package. Drain, slice in half, and cut into strips.
Bring the dashi and abuurage strips to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the shiitake and shimeji, skimming off any impurities that come to the surface.
Add the sake, soy sauce and mirin. Taste and add salt as needed. Add the enoki mushrooms and return to a boil. Remove from heat and serve.