4 tbsp shiro miso (fermented white soybean paste)
1 - 1 1/2 tbsp dashinomoto (instant fish stock)
pinch ajinomoto (Japanese taste powder) ormonosodium glutamate (optional)
1 cake fresh tofu
1/2 leek, white part only
1. Make the stock in a non-metallic saucepan (an enamelled flameproof casserole dish is best) using 1% pints (1 litre) water, the instant dashi and a pinch of ajinomoto; if you do not want to use this taste enhancer, leave it out. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low.
2. Mix the miso in a bowl with about 4 fl oz (120 ml) of the hot broth; pour the resulting mixture back into the saucepan or casserole dish through a sieve, rubbing with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir for 2 minutes; the soup must not come to the boil once the miso has been added.
3. Cut the tofu into small cubes, add to the soup and leave to heat through for 2 minutes; remove from the heat.
4. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the leek, cut into strips and serve at once, with plain steamed rice. This makes a very light but nourishing supper.