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This Japanese soup inspired by a Tom Conran recipe uses ingredients that are now readily available in most super markets. I use Clearspring white miso paste, which is one of my kitchen staples. Check out my blog post on why I love Clearspring here. The soup is nutritious yet light and doesn’t take much preparation although you’ll have to leave this to cook for about an hour.


4 spring onions - sliced into strips

1 large shallot - finely diced

3 cloves of garlic - sliced

3cm of ginger - peeled and grated

1 tbsp groundnut oil

125g shiitake mushrooms - sliced

50g dried mushrooms (preferably shiitake) soaked in 1 litre of hot water

2 cm ginger - cut into matchsticks

100g pearl barley

1 sachets of white miso liquid

2 tbsp tamari

1 litre boiling water

1 small handful of coriander leaves - finely chopped

2 tsp sesame oil

Juice of ½ a lime


  1. Add the spring onions to a bowl of cold or iced water and refrigerate until the soup is ready.

  2. Heat a large pan and add the groundnut oil.

  3. When the oil is hot, add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.

  4. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid to use as stock, and chop finely

  5. Turn up the heat to medium and add the shiitake mushrooms and ginger and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown.

  6. Add the barley and cook for another 2 minutes.

  7. Add the miso, tamari, 1 litre of boiling water and mushroom stock and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum.

  8. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the barley is cooked.

  9. Drain the spring onions from the water – they should be crisp.

  10. Serve the soup garnished with the spring onion, coriander, lime juice and sesame oil.


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