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Umami Broth with Buckwheat and Vegetables

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez
Active time 30 mins
Total time 40 mins

Serves 4 (serving size: 2 cups)

The richness of the broth comes from what’s basically an Asian version of soffrito, the Italian “starter paste” that flavors so many delicious soups and sauces. Whereas the Italian version is a mixture of sautéed celery, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and sometimes tomato paste, this version uses miso, onion, ginger, and garlic sautéed in toasty sesame oil until browned and caramelized. We opt for red miso here, the saltiest and most pungent kind. If you only have white miso on hand, it will work, too; you just might want to add a splash of soy sauce to deepen the flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons red miso
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 (1-in.) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 large eggs in shells
  • 1/2 cup uncooked buckwheat groats, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-in.-thick half-moons
  • 12 ounces baby bok choy, stalks sliced crosswise into 1/2-in. pieces, leaves left whole
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 301
  • fat 12.7 g
  • satfat 2.6 g
  • monofat 4.7 g
  • polyfat 4.2 g
  • protein 16 g
  • carbohydrate 33 g
  • fiber 5 g
  • cholesterol 186 mg
  • iron 3 mg
  • sodium 644 mg
  • calcium 136 mg
  • sugars 7 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add miso, onion, and ginger; sauté 10 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add 4 cups water, stock, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil.
  2. Carefully drop eggs into broth; reduce heat to medium. Simmer 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl filled with ice water. Let stand 1 minute. Peel eggs.
  3. Add buckwheat and carrot to broth; increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 15 minutes or until buckwheat is tender.
  4. Add bok choy and green onions; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Ladle soup evenly into 4 bowls. Cut eggs in half lengthwise; place 2 egg halves on each bowl of soup.