Miso Alphabet Soup ~ healthy, easy, and fun Miso Alphabet Soup is a 15 minute meal that introduces kids of all ages to a classic Japanese dish. Miso is one of the world’s oldest super foods, and nobody should miss out!
Today I’m sharing one of my own kids’ all time favorite soups ~ it’s the way I introduce them to the wonders of Japanese food. Miso is a staple in our house, I’ve been cooking with it since college and love how easy it is to add a boost of nutrition and ‘umami’ flavor to whatever I’m making. I’ve added playful alphabet noodles to this basic miso soup recipe to make it fun and accessible to newbies, and miso alphabet soup makes the perfect back-to-school meal!
For busy families, a tub of miso paste in the refrigerator means a nourishing meal is only minutes away.
Miso paste is an ancient Japanese health food made from fermented soybeans. It doesn’t sound like much, I know, and frankly, it doesn’t look like much, either, straight out of the tub, but when you stir it into hot water or broth it makes a comforting, subtly flavored soup. It’s the original instant soup!
- Miso paste is full of detoxifying enzymes, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants
- It helps strengthen the immune system, lowers cancer risk, reduces bad cholesterol
- it’s anti-inflammatory
- Helps lower blood pressure
- It’s full of probiotics which help balance your gut bacteria and aid digestion
The Japanese have been eating it daily for thousands of years, so I think it’s about time we got in on the action.
Look for miso paste in the refrigerated section of your regular grocery store. It will be right there next to the tofu and wonton wrappers. Miso comes in a few different varieties and the color ranges from white, or pale yellow, to deep dark red. The lighter colors are mild and the darker it gets, the more robust the flavor.
TIP: If you’re just getting started with miso, or are introducing it to kids, try mild yellow miso first. Once hooked, you can move on the darker colors. I use the dark paste in my classic MISO SOUP.
Miso paste will keep for at least a year in the fridge, once opened, so don’t hesitate to pick up a tub. You’ll use it like a condiment in so many different kinds of dishes. I like to stir it into my broth for MISO RAMEN WITH SHITAKE AND CHICKEN and you can make a delicious MISO SALAD DRESSING.
You might have trouble finding the classic alphabet pasta, it’s not readily available in all grocery stores. I suggest buying it on Amazon, you can find it here.
- 4 cups chicken broth (you can also beef broth, veggie broth, or water)
- 4 ounces small alphabet shaped pasta
- 3 Tbsp Miso paste
- 10 ounces firm or extra firm tofu
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Bring the stock or water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the alphabet pasta and boil gently until done, about 6 minutes, or according to the package directions.
- Cut the tofu into small cubes, and thinly slice the green onions, and set aside.
- When the pasta is tender, take the soup off the heat. Stir in the miso paste, and then add the tofu.
- Serve in small bowls, garnished with the sliced green onions.
Make it your own ~
- Make this vegan by using pure filtered water in place of the chicken broth.
- Give this soup an extra nutritious boost and use bone broth.
- If you like you can substitute another very small pasta shape, like orzo or pastina (tiny stars.) You can even use leftover rice or quinoa.
- Add any chopped veggies or greens you like. Carrots and kale work great.