This is quite possibly the easiest recipe ever…but does it taste good?

Cheese is a gift to mankind. Honestly, if people got along with each other the same way cheese gets along with everything, the world would be a much more peaceful place. I mean, it just goes with everything: pasta, potatoes, salad, meat, fruit, burgers, Japanese sweets, beef bowls

Really, the options for pairing cheese are endless. Which brought us to our most recent brilliant idea: why not put cheese in miso soup?!

After all, cheese is kind of like tofu, which is a popular ingredient in miso soup. It’s square, can be white, and has lots of protein. Why wouldn’t it work?! It was so genius we had no choice but to try it.

Thinking that it would be super easy to use to make cheesy miso soup, we decided to use this special “Cheese Preserved in Miso” from Cheese Factory (756 yen [US$5.94]).

Naturally, we couldn’t let pass an opportunity to try such an unusual product as is, so we plucked a cube from the jar and gave it a taste. It was surprisingly sweet. It had a much lower water content than most of the usual soft cheeses you’ll find in supermarkets in Japan, so it had a rich, cheesy flavor and aroma. However, perhaps was because of how rich it was, we were incredibly thirsty for about an hour after eating it. We highly recommend you savor only a little at a time.

Anyway, the miso sauce it was preserved in was nice and thick and had a rich flavor too. The jar suggests you serve it over rice, and we thought that sounded delicious.

But our goal today was to make miso soup out of it, so we boiled a bit of water

…and dumped all the contents of the jar in!

And voila! Our cheesy miso soup was ready.

Man, that was super easy. And just to reiterate, those little squares in the soup are not tofu, but cheese. It’s almost impossible to tell that it’s not normal miso soup! And when we poured it into a bowl, allowing the cheese to sink to the bottom, the cheesy miso soup looked even more ordinary.

The difference was, however, evident in the fragrance. Wafting up from the soup was a faint cheesy smell, which gave the miso soup a more distinct feel.

But when we gave the soup a taste, the flavor was all miso. It was a much milder version, since the miso sauce from the jar had a bit more sweetness than regular miso soup, but it was miso-flavored nonetheless. While the cheese itself, when eaten out of the jar, had a strong flavor that made us want to eat it together with something, the sauce, when turned into a broth, had a perfect mildness.

And now, the moment of truth. How did the cheese taste when put in miso soup? Without further delay, we rescued a cube from the bottom of the bowl and took a bite.

The cheese had melted ever so slightly in the hot water, giving it a velvety soft texture reminiscent of brie or other soft cheeses. That texture brought to it a whole new level, really drawing out the delicious flavor of the cheese.

Eating the cheese and the soup together proved that cheese and miso make a good combination. In fact, they were almost better together. It was so good that we ended up taking sip after sip of our homemade cheesy miso soup, and before we knew it, our bowl was empty.

Despite our utter faith in the complementary nature of cheese, we truly had had no idea how this would turn out when set out to try it. But we’re happy to conclude that cheese is a perfectly acceptable ingredient in miso soup!

Of course, when we think about it, it would make sense that if cheese and miso already complement each other, in the shape of miso-preserved cheese for example, then there’s no reason why adding hot water would change that. Nevertheless, we discovered a new way to enjoy cheese, so we’re pretty happy with our little experiment.

Now we have to find the perfect toppings for cheesy miso soup, since the cheese cubes looked a little lonely floating in there by themselves. Next time we plan to add more typical miso soup ingredients, like wakame seaweed, green onions, or clams. I wonder what combination will be the tastiest?

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