Ultra-fast, protein-packed miso soup is a mild and comforting broth for sick days. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Ultra-fast, protein-packed miso soup is a mild and comforting broth for sick days. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

Soothing soup for January ills

It’s probably a novelty to have experienced my child’s infancy without a single sniffle

I heard his tiny voice call out to me in the night.

The thud-thud-thud of his little feet told me he was out of bed, but the noise stopped, and so did he, so I thought he had gone back to bed. A while later he called out to me again, his voice a pitiful croak over the baby monitor, and I knew he needed me.

I fluttered down the stairs to retrieve him and opened the door to his room to find him curled up in our rocking chair, away from his bed, disoriented and ill — a fever clouding his mind — our little boy was sick.

I carried his burning body up to our room to lay him down next to his father while I fetched medicine and water for our delirious dreamer. Ill children are less than kind, and soon I was relegated to the foot of my own bed, required by our tiny patient to be close — but not so close that the warmth of my body would disturb him.

He rolled and kicked and cried out for comfort as we tended to him in the darkness, and when his breath finally assumed a steady beat, we reached across his back to lace our fingers in love and solidarity, and only then did I feel the scratch in my own throat.

Whenever our child is sick, we go on high alert. Many texts per hour, regular updates on appetite and mood, temperature checks and ounce-per-ounce water intake reports — we take parenting seriously, as every parent should.

Over the last year or so I have relaxed my stance on interactions with other people, but with that came the first illnesses of his life, and with it, the biggest (so far) tests of my motherhood, as I am forced to nurse a sick child while ill myself.

It’s probably a novelty to have experienced my child’s infancy without a single sniffle, but the unique era of his birth required me to isolate, so I am uniquely ill-equipped to handle this most common of motherly dilemmas.

My husband is out of town this week, yet again, and I am barely able to function, so the easiest, most nutritious meal we both will actually eat is what I’m aiming for right now.

Miso soup is ultra-fast, protein packed, and mild and comforting enough to convince my 3-year-old to enjoy without a struggle.

Pair it with some vitamin rich fruit, and you’ve made a meal to soothe the January junk before it gets bad.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups water

3 tablespoons light miso paste

½ block silken tofu — in ½ inch cubes

2 stalks green onion

1/8 teaspoon fish sauce

Directions:

Bring water to a boil.

Place miso paste in a small bowl.

Slowly add boiling water to the miso, spoon by spoon, while whisking constantly. Ensure there are no lumps.

When all the miso is dissolved, return to the pot.

Add in the cubes of tofu and carefully stir. Try not to break the tofu.

Turn off the heat.

Add the fish sauce and stir.

Ladle into small bowls and top with sliced green onion.

Serve with a bowl of steamed white rice.

If you can add some vitamin C rich produce — like orange slices or mini sweet peppers — you’ll be doing your best to make a rounded meal.

To all the mothers out there confronting elementary school illnesses, I feel for you.

My twin sister has been dealing with sickness after sickness with no end in sight. The best we can do is keep up on their vaccines and feed and hydrate them well — here’s hoping I can help you do that.

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