I'm not even going to try to say this soup was remotely Japanese. I don't know how to cook Japanese food, and I didn't try tonight.
But miso is pretty versatile, it turns out. It lent just enough complexity to make this soup not boring, and it was really pretty, too (and if you know me, you know pretty food is not my typical aim nor strong point).
Here is the recipe - it is SO easy, and if you've never used miso before, this is a good one to try.
makes enough for 4 big bowl servings
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1/2 c chickpeas that have been soaked overnight (or 3/4 c cooked chickpeas)
4 c stock or water
2 c chopped chard
3 T miso paste
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add carrot, chickpeas and water, bring to a boil and lower heat, cover, and simmer 20 min. Add chard, cover pot again, and cook 10 min, simmering. Remove lid, stir in miso paste - you may have to use the back of a spoon against the saucepan to get it to dissolve. Simmer another 5 min. Serve.