Miso Soup

Miso Soup is the original health food, it’s been nourishing the Japanese for centuries, and you can make it yourself in minutes.

simple and nourishing miso soup

Who can live on cookies alone?  In between batches of crackles and ginger snaps I made a big pot of Miso Soup.  My daughter requested it and we all agreed it’s the perfect post-Thanksgiving food.  One bowl has the power to redeem you and your guilty conscience from all those extra helpings of pecan pie.

Miso Soup

Miso soup was one of the first things I cooked for myself when I was in college.  It’s a staple in Japan, and you’ve probably had it in Japanese restaurants.  The soup is basically a thin miso infused broth, and when you get it in restaurants it usually has very little in it, maybe a slice or two of scallion floating around.  But it can also made heartier with tofu, mushrooms, seaweed, green onions, and potatoes, among other things.

Miso is a Japanese fermented paste, usually made from rice, barley and or soybeans.  Most stores stock it, look for it in the Asian or international section of your market.  I found mine, a locally made organic miso, in the refrigerated section.  Miso is a biologically active, living food, like yogurt.  Cooking destroys some of its beneficial bacteria and can change the flavor.  When you make Miso soup the paste is added at the end, once the pot is taken off the heat.
This is basically a healthy and nourishing instant soup.  It’s perfect for when you have a cold or flu, and so much quicker and easier to make than chicken soup.  In Japan it’s believed to have powerful health giving properties, (including fighting the Big C.)

Making miso soup gives you the perfect excuse to experiment with some of the exotic, loose mushroom varieties you always pass by when you’re doing your grocery shopping.  Their delicate flavor will take center stage in such a simple dish, and you don’t need to buy many, so the cost won’t be prohibitive.  I bought baby button Shitake and a variety called Beech Mushrooms, which was new to me.  The tiny little brown or white mushrooms come clustered on one large stem or stalk.

Miso Soup

Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Miso paste
  • 1/3 of a 14 oz block of firm tofu, cut in small cubes
  • 2 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced or left whole if very small
  • 4 or 5 scallions, sliced thin (use all of the white and a little of the green)

Instructions

  1. Heat the stock and water to a simmer and add the mushrooms and tofu. Simmer for a few minutes to cook the mushrooms. When you're ready to serve, add the scallions and take off the heat. In a small bowl, whisk the miso with 1/4 cup of the hot broth to form a paste. Stir it back into the broth, and serve.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/miso-soup/

We like it with lots of steaming hot edamame (soy) beans showered in sea salt.

Note:  If you get really into it and you want to have this every day for a week, just make the broth ahead and stir in the miso paste fresh with each meal.

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 Miso Soup is the original health food, it's been nourishing the Japanese for centuries, and you can make it for yourself in minutes! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

32 Comments

  • Reply
    Dell
    March 3, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I always add a little Dashi to this. It takes it over the top!! I love it!!

  • Reply
    SpiritLove208
    September 12, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    This recipe was really tasty and super easy to make! Will be making it again very soon.

    • Reply
      Amy Wyn
      November 2, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Can you tell me what color miso you used – white or the red? Thank you; can’t wait to try this!!

      • Reply
        Sue
        November 4, 2016 at 7:57 am

        I think I used the darker miso for this soup, Amy ~ but you can use any type!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      I’m so glad, thanks!

  • Reply
    DanCandell
    May 20, 2016 at 7:13 am

    This recipe is in the clean eating section. I have read much on tofu and how soy products are very bad for people. I’m wondering if you can make this soup without tofu and if it will still be good; or possibly a suitable asubstitute?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 20, 2016 at 7:23 am

      You can definitely make it without tofu, I’ve had it with just mushrooms, or just green onions many times.

  • Reply
    Marcy Schwartz
    January 13, 2016 at 2:10 am

    This was the first time I’ve made miso soup. Very easy and the best miso soup I’ve ever had. I added a little bit of crispy onions when I served it (similar to what happens at Japanese Hibachi restaurants). I can’t wait to make it again.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 13, 2016 at 7:23 am

      Great addition Marcy, I’m so glad you liked it.

  • Reply
    Guinness
    February 16, 2015 at 5:14 am

    You state that if you want to eat for a week to make the broth then add the miso paste with each bowl.
    How much paste do you add – and is it mixed with the broth before.
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2015 at 7:07 am

      You can heat up your broth, and then stir in the miso, to taste. It might be a couple of teaspoons for a 8 oz, give or take.

  • Reply
    25 Super, Healthy Soup Recipes | HelloNatural.co
    February 10, 2015 at 11:31 am

    […]  Miso soup by The View From Great Island. A Japanese classic that’s healthy and delicious, packed with […]

  • Reply
    Ginger
    November 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I second that comment on the Dashi. Miso, IMO, really makes it!

  • Reply
    to2sassy
    December 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    This looks really yummy! Have you ever tried making your miso soup with Dashi instead of broth. It really takes it over the top. My local Asian grocery store sells crystals (sort of like bullion) to make it.

    • Reply
      Chris
      August 26, 2016 at 6:23 am

      I’ve never tried it, but have read dashi crystals contain MSG.

  • Reply
    Sarah (Snippets of Thyme)
    November 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I had to come over because while having lunch and browsing Foodgawker, your photo leaped off the screen. That soup is so beautiful! I also love miso soup.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    November 28, 2011 at 7:47 am

    I feel nourished just reading the recipe.

  • Reply
    Mary
    November 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    What a lovely way to ease the burden on the palate. This sounds like a perfect light repast and I’d love to join you in a bowl. Have a wonderful holiday. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti
    November 28, 2011 at 4:08 am

    What a nice recipe! I always order Miso soup when I go out to a Japanese restaurant, but I never thought I’d be able to make it myself. Now I’ll be on the hunt for Miso paste!

    I became a follower. I love WIlliams Sonoma and check out their sale section on their web site all the time.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    November 28, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Looks wonderful! I’ve been thinking about creating a miso soup version for a while now. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful mushrooms.

  • Reply
    Miss Meshow
    November 28, 2011 at 3:39 am

    So beautiful! I love those little white mushrooms, especially the ones in the last photo that are stuck together. Already have plans for tomorrow’s supper, but I think I’ll plan on it for the day after. I love soup!

  • Reply
    Quay Po Cooks
    November 28, 2011 at 1:35 am

    I love miso soup. This reminded me that I have not had a bowl for sometime:D Great photos!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      :))

  • Reply
    Three-Cookies
    November 27, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Those mushrooms look really nice, I haven’t seen that variety

  • Reply
    Yummy Mummy
    November 28, 2011 at 6:07 am

    How beautiful with those tiny mushrooms! Love this!

  • Reply
    yummychunklet
    November 28, 2011 at 4:11 am

    I would LOVE a bowl of this right now. I still have a residual runny nose from last week’s cold.

  • Reply
    Heather@Curly Girl Kitchen
    November 28, 2011 at 2:25 am

    This soup looks so warm and comforting! I could use that right now after having had way too much dessert this week. My jeans are feeling pretty snug right now! :(

  • Reply
    Lizzy
    November 28, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Oh, I need to buy some miso! This soup looks amazing…and it would be great to whip this up on a cold day. Your mushrooms are beautiful, too…so unblemished. Great post~

  • Reply
    Barbara
    November 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I’ve had it, but never made it. Your photos are marvelous, Sue. Copying the recipe now…

  • Reply
    Heather @ girlichef.com
    November 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I love miso soup. Earthy, comforting, satisfaction in a bowl. Yours looks beautiful…wish I had a bowl. Okay, I have a bowl, but I wish I had some of your steaming soup filling it!

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    November 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Susan—I’m not sure I’ve ever had (or ordered) Hot and Sour soup, I’ll be waiting for your post!

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    November 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    It looks so light and delicious. The mushrooms are so white and beautiful. I have had Miso soup and liked it a lot, but Hot and Sour is my favorite. I think I might do a post on it. Thanks for the inspiration.

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