Aubergine, Pork and Ginger Miso Soup
Serves 4, easily halved. 72 calories per serving. A tasty, light broth ideal for fast days, as a light starter, or an accompaniment to simple Japanese dishes or sushi. If you fancy a bit of a kick, just give it a shake of Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese 7 pepper spice mix) after you’ve served it, and if you want to bulk it out, add some rinsed, snipped up Shirataki (Zero/Miracle) noodles for the last two minutes.
1 small aubergine (eggplant, approximate 220g) 
1 tsp neutral oil (e.g. sunflower, rice bran; for Paleo diet: coconut / avocado / macadamia oil etc.) 
100g extra lean minced pork *
1 ½ inches of peeled ginger root – either cut into tiny matchsticks, or grated 
1tbsp light soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free or Paleo, or coconut aminos) 
800ml dashi stock, or my quick dashi stock substitute [8, if home-made]
4 tbsp medium miso paste (or add more to taste - be careful with gluten free - you can get a wheat free, white version from Clearsprings which is GF, and grain free, therefore more suitable for Paleo too, check the labelling) 
2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal 
Finely dice the aubergine, lightly salt and leave in a colander for half an hour, to reduce bitterness (you can omit this step if you’re short on time – aubergines aren’t as bitter as they used to be these days). Rinse and drain thoroughly, patting dry.
Heat a large, deep, non-stick frying pan or wok (it needs to hold a litre), add the oil, then stir-fry the pork for around 5 minutes, until just cooked. Add the aubergine and ginger, and stir-fry for another 7-8 minutes (don’t worry if the bottom of the pan browns a little, as long as it doesn’t burn), add the soy in the last minute, then add the dashi stock and bring to the boil. As soon as the soup reaches the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for a couple more minutes until the aubergine is tender and then incorporate the miso paste – it’s best to either put in a sieve, then lower in, gentle stirring in the sieve with the back of a spoon, or take a ladle-full of liquid out, mix into the miso, then put back into the soup. Serve sprinkled with the sliced spring onions.
*Vegetarians could substitute Quorn mince, marinaded tofu finely chopped, TVP etc