quick miso soup, and getting to the root of a problem?

Hello, neighbors ! You probably remember that I make my own pasta. The resulting pasta water is usually starchy and ideal to make a quick miso soup, which I particularly enjoy… for breakfast! You see, there are days that I just don’t feel like eating sweet stuff when I get up. Actually, even when I do, the only sugar I ingest in the morning comes from either fresh or dried fruit. But let’s get back to the soup. Like many of my recipes nowadays, it is very versatile, since you can use anything you have available to you: carrots, mushrooms, leftover beans, cooked chicken, tofu… The only non-negotiable items are pasta water (or rice water, or potato water), rice miso paste (not white miso paste), and tomato paste. Feel free to modify it to your taste and dietary restrictions. For instance, as far as we are concerned, I do not use mushrooms if my husband is going to have this soup.

Ingredients (for each soup bowl)

400 ml cooking water from pasta, potatoes or rice

1 tsp tomato paste

– 2 tsp rice miso paste

choice of vegetables, shredded or cut small for speedy cooking: carrots, mushroom slices, cooked or pre-cooked green beans

choice of protein: shredded chicken, diced tofu…

choice of fresh herbs  : parsley, coriander, chives…

salt, to taste

optional: leftover pasta or rice

How to:

1. Thin down 1 tsp tomato paste and 2 tsp rice miso paste with some of the pasta water in a saucepan. Add the rest of the water (total amount: 400ml).

2. Add vegetables and protein. Taste before adding any salt.

3. Heat to a boil and cook until vegetables are done.

4. Sprinkle with fresh herbs before serving.

It has finally started to rain, dear neighbors, and copiously so, on our garden and everyone else’s in the area. The ground being softer, my husband decided to tackle once again something he started last month: trying to remove the roots of an acacia tree he had cut down over a year ago. Let me tell you something: you shouldn’t grow acacias too close to your house. Its root system is monstrously developed! The ground being so dry it was very hard to get at those roots, some of them the size of tree trunks. Besides getting sore muscles, my husband also discovered two interesting things about our acacia: 1) it is a very clever tree that will sense water spots and direct its ever-growing tentacles in their direction, even after having been sawed down to a stump and 2) the roots, once unearthed, are particularly foul-smelling!

*Actually, the tree I am talking about is a “false acacia”, otherwise known as “black locust” or robinia pseudoacacia.

A few photos to illustrate what I mean:

The stump and the trench my husband had to dig in order to remove the first root.
Getting one of these out was real hard work. I fully supported my husband’s efforts by taking photos 😇
A seemingly never ending root.
This pile can’t even be used as firewood: the stench is just too much!

Have a good end of week, dear neighbors, stay safe!


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