This recipe shows off just how delicious cabbage is, with umami-rich miso present for added complexity and nutritional value. Miso, a fermented soybean paste popular in both Japan and Korea, is full of trace... minerals that might help strengthen the immune system and is also high in protein, crucial for maintaining energy and stamina. When shopping for miso, the darker the color the stronger the taste.
Bring 6 cups of water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large soup pot. Add cabbage, celery, onion, carrot, and sliced garlic. Cover, reduce to medium-low heat, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in chopped garlic, then turn off heat. Dissolve miso with some of the hot soup liquid in a cup or bowl, then pour it back into the pot. Ladle soup into bowls. For an extra zing of flavor, add a few drops of sesame oil to each bowl just before serving.
Do not bring the soup back to a boil before eating. Miso loses its nutrients when boiled. Try substituting daikon or Japanese radish for the carrot. The chopped garlic can be added with all the vegetables in the beginning if you prefer a sweet, less pungent garlic taste.