In Japanese, 湯 (read as yu) is refer to hot water and 汁 (read as shiru or jiru when combined with a noun) is refer to soup. Whereas, 湯 (read as tang) in Chinese refer to soup and 汁 (read as zhi) refer to juice or gravy. I got confused when I saw 湯 on a signboard for the first time in Japan, mistaken it as soup, it was actually signboard for hot spring/onsen!
As for this soup, it is not something you will find in a Japanese restaurant in the city or beyond Japan. This home-cooked village-style miso soup (田舍味增汁, read as inaka misojiru) is sometime served in small restaurants in rural areas in Kyoto. Not long ago we had it at a family-owned okonomiyaki restaurant near to home, it was served together with sobameshi. I like it hot with shichimi, very much.
- 5 baby yams / Taro Root
- 1 small onion
- Some dried wakame (optional)
- 1 litre water
- 1 tsp hon-dashi
- 2- 3 tbsp awase miso (混合味增/mixed miso)
- 1-2 tsp sugar
- Peel yam and cut into chunks, and cut onion in into wedges.
- Bring water to a boil, hon-dashi, yam and onion. Turn the heat down and simmer until yam is softened.
- Put miso paste in a bowl, dissolve with some hot soup then add into the pot.
- Add sugar and wakame, stir a few seconds and turn the heat off.
- Serve warm. If desired, some chopped spring onion and shichimi can be sprinkled over the top.