The most important part of any good soup is a good broth. It should be a meal on its own filled with flavor, depth and complexity. Anything else you put into the broth should be there as a compliment, not to overpower it. Here’s a simple recipe I made with a couple of key ingredients (chicken, miso and shiitake mushrooms).
Fill a pot with 6 cups of water and 2 cups of dried shiitake mushrooms. Simmer on high heat for 45 minutes
Season whole chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast till fully cooked.
In a separate small pot add 3 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of miso paste, 1 teaspoon of hon-dashi and the neck of the chicken (only if your whole chicken came with it). Simmer on high heat.
After the pot of mushrooms have simmered for 45 minutes they should be plump and re-hydrated and have lent the broth their color and aroma. Turn off heat, rinse konbu in cold water and add to the mushroom broth. Steep for 20 minutes and strain both pots.
You can save the mushrooms to pickle and use as a topping for the ramen.
By this time the chicken should have been done, taken out of the oven and rested.
Carve, save the thighs, legs and breast for another meal and add the rest to a pot filled with 6 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of salt.
Simmer on high heat for 2 hours reducing the liquid to about half.
After 2 hours add a bulb of garlic, green onions and a cup of sliced ginger. Also add 4 cups of mushroom stock and 2 cups of miso stock. Let everything simmer on low heat for another 45 minutes.
Strain and add toppings. I added seaweed, sesame seeds, green onion, chili oil, boiled noodles, pickled shiitake mushrooms, soft-boiled egg and braised pork belly…
This definitely isn’t that $0.50 packet of instant noodles I grew up on…