Makes 4 to 7 servings or about 7 cups

Miso is a fermented soybean paste used like a bouillon. It may be added to any of your favorite soups for seasoning. Miso tastes great and is a healing food as well. According to The Book of Miso, miso contains zybicolin, an element that attracts to itself and expels from the body toxic substances such as radiation, pollution, and nicotine. Sea vegetables have similar detoxifying properties from an element called sodium alginate. Seaweeds are also the highest food source of minerals and trace elements and so contribute to a strong immune system. Shiitake mushrooms are luscious tasting and have medicinal properties useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer, AIDS and high cholesterol.

6-inch piece wakame seaweed

6 cups water or vegetable cooking broth

1 onion family member (yellow, white or red onions or leeks), cubed

1 root vegetable (carrot, turnip, rutabaga or parsnip), sliced

1 cup hardy greens (cabbage, kale, collards, etc.) and/or 2 cups soft greens (arugula, watercress), sliced

1/2 pound firm tofu, cubed

4 shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, cut in cubes

Miso to taste, about 1/3 cup barley, brown rice, chickpea, or other miso, or part natural soy sauce (up to 1 tablespoon miso per cup water)

Knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1. Submerge seaweed in water in a 3-quart pot. Bring to boil while you cut the fresh vegetables. Strain out seaweed and when cooled somewhat, cut and return to pot with onion and root vegetable.

2. Bring to boil, then simmer covered until barely tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on size of vegetables. Add hardy greens, tofu and mushrooms, and cook about 5 minutes more.

3. Dissolve miso in a little of the hot soup broth and add to soup (with soft greens if included) and ginger. Simmer very gently for a minute or two before serving.

Note: To maintain an attractive bright green color, add greens (hardy greens cooked separately such as kale or collards; soft greens added fresh/raw) to hot soup just before serving.