whoever decided to call this stuff “fermented bean paste” clearly had no concept of what sounds appetizing and what does not. if i were asked on the street, “excuse me, would you like a bowl of fermented bean paste soup?”, you can bet your butt i would say no. but “miso soup”? i would be all over that like white on rice.
tofu and… avocado? has the poor man finally lost his mind?
while the answer to that question might be “yes,” this is still a pretty dang tasty recipe i threw together the other day.
i am a firm believer that some of the world’s best soups are those that are just as good hot as they are cold, which is certainly the case of some of my favorites. this soup in particular was inspired by none other than vichyssoise, one of america’s most classic soups.
as with some of japan’s greatest foods, the key to this soup is its mildness. it contains no shocking flavors, no expensive ingredients, and requires no complex cooking methods at all. literally any person with a food processor or a blending wand can make it. and therein lies its beauty.
julius caesar. the emperor, the legend, the man. he was a politician, a general, a passionate lover, and a poet. he conquered gaul, unified the roman empire, and was murdered by a bunch of guys in togas.
he was a man of many great titles and impressive deeds. but the question remains: was he a chef? and if he wasn’t, just who is behind the deliciousness that is caesar salad?
bread. let’s all be honest with ourselves, it’s just downright amazing.
just to quickly clear up any misinterpretations, when i say the word “bread,” i mean magical foods like challah, french bread, italian bread, pumpernickel, rye bread, pita, and even our unleavened friend matzah. what i don’t mean is the nasty highly processed white bread that sticks to the roof of your mouth when you make a sandwich out of it. are we all on the same page? ok, let’s continue.
the invention of bread gave humanity all kinds of stuff. it gave us sandwiches (arguably one of mankind’s most versatile and transportable foods), croutons, bread bowls, french onion soup, and a boat load of other things which make my life wonderful. some historians even think bread was the innovation that inspired beer (although other historians believe exactly the opposite, namely that beer, as one of the oldest beverages known to man, was the inspiration for bread).
but let’s address the elephant in the room.
toast. if toast was a liquid, i would bathe in it. if it weren’t so darn crispy and scratchy, i would probably try to make an overcoat or some cool article of clothing out of it. maybe a hat. yes, i like toast that much.
roughly torn chunks of french bread, once toasted to perfection, accentuate the majesty of the already incredible fried egg. toasted pumpernickel bread, raw garlic, and pickles have been the backbone of the russian diet for well over 100 years. what would french onion soup be without a disk of toast slathered in cheese? it would be run of the mill onion soup, that’s what. i could go on, but i won’t, because i want to talk about the crostini.
the sweet, sweet crostini.
picture a super thin disk of toast. then picture a smattering of two or three high quality delicious ingredients delicately nestled atop the aforementioned toast disk. sound simple? that is because it is. but as our good friend lord polonius said, “brevity is the soul of wit.”