I returned this week from a trip outside the country, which consisted of four airplane rides to and from my destination, totaling over 20-some hours in a plane. It’s no surprise that people often come home from vacations feeling sick. The shared space with so many people, all coughing and sneezing into the same air, and your poor body being physically cramped inside an economy-size seat for 10 hours with nary a stretch or walk to break up the monotony.
Needless to say, I felt a bit under the weather this week, and I found myself craving something comforting and soothing, but also nourishing. (Macaroni and cheese may sound like a bowlful of security, but it’s really not the thing to make a head cold actually feel better.) With just a few ingredients in the fridge—again, just returning from a long trip—I had to make do with a piece of salmon, a chunk of acorn squash, and few handfuls of rice in the back of the cupboard.
Fortunately, these ingredients happened to come together to make precisely the soothing bowl I was in need of: Salmon rice soup with miso and squash. This is my take on the classic lemon-chicken rice soup, which also oozes comfort like an electric blanket on a chilly winter’s night. In this version, wild salmon takes the place of chicken, brown rice comes in for the usual white, and miso paste is added to make a wholesome broth with a lemony, savory flavor. Winter squash is an added bonus to help this soup become a substantial meal all at once.
This soup has a markedly fishy flavor, but the miso complements it rather well and gives it an overall Asian-inspired twist. I recommend this as a remedy for late nights, hangovers, head colds, and any ol’ case of the not-feeling-too-good-blues.
Salmon Rice Soup With Miso and Squash
- 3 cups water
- ¾ cup brown basmati rice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 cups diced winter squash
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon yellow or white miso
- Soy sauce and lemon juice, to taste, for serving
- Combine water, rice, and salt in a medium stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a low boil and cook, partially covered, until rice is very soft, about 30 minutes.
- Add salmon, squash, and onion to stockpot; return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until squash is very soft, 13 to 17 minutes.
- Remove stockpot from heat. Add miso and stir until dissolved. Season to taste with soy sauce and/or lemon juice. Serve warm.
Makes 2 servings.