I N G R E D I E N T S

6 cups vegetarian dashi
1/4 daikon, cut into cubes
1 carrot, cut into rangiri
3 shiitake mushrooms, soaked
1/2 gobo, peeled and sliced
4 satoimo, peeled
Soy sauce, to taste
Sea salt, to taste

Kenchinjiru, Buddhist vegetarian soup

Kenchin-jiru

This is based on a Buddhist vegetarian recipe and can either be made with miso, or with soy sauce and salt. My mother always made a version with pork and miso, but recently I've taken to this vegan version because you can really taste all the wonderful vegetables. Richness comes from the intense flavors of the gobo (burdock) and shiitake mushrooms and the creamy sato-imo. This hearty soup is more like a stew, and can be considered a meal unto itself when served with rice and pickles.

Cut vegetables into a variety of pleasing shapes, as noted to the left. Soak the gobo in cold water to prevent discoloration and to remove bitterness. Simmer the gobo and daikon in 6 cups of dashi for 15 minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until tender. Season with soy sauce and sea salt to taste, or add four tablespoons of country miso.

Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 as a soup