Miso Soup

Miso Soup is the original health food, it’s been nourishing the Japanese for centuries, and you can make this quick and easy super food soup for yourself  in just 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.

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

TIP:  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.

I’ve been cooking with miso since I was in college and I love it.  You can find lots more miso inspiration on the blog,  just search MISO.  And if you’re intrigued and want to learn more, see my HOW TO USE MISO post, it has lots of useful info and serving suggestions.

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.

Make it your own ~

  • Use yellow or white miso for a milder flavor…this is perfect if you are new to miso, or cooking for kids.
  • Use any type of stock you like in place of the water.
  • Add any thinly sliced veggies you like, including bok choy, carrots, or broccoli.  Just be sure to simmer the vegetables until tender before you add the miso.

Don’t forget to pin this healthy and delicious Miso Soup!

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40 Comments

  • Reply
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    April 5, 2018 at 10:39 am

    […] Recipe: theviewfromgreatisland.com […]

    • Reply
      Molly
      April 22, 2018 at 10:34 pm

      May I point out that main ingredient in Miso paste is furmented soy beans. Rice and other grain are secondary. Also, it’s not necessary to use chicken stock or any other type of broth. Miso paste itself is the broth/ stock. However, all sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    Mariah
    December 11, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I Just made this soup but wanted to add seaweed.. I used roasted seaweed and added it in with the mushrooms and tofu, and the soup came out delicious, but I feel as though the miso flavor is overpowered by the seaweed flavor. Any idea on how to keep the miso flavor stronger when adding seaweed? Thank you for the recipe!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 11, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Great question, but I think miso is by nature a very delicate flavor, so you will probably have to live with that. You can certainly add more miso paste to your soup, and that should boost the flavor. Glad you’re experimenting with this, Mariah!

  • Reply
    Heather
    November 26, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Is there anyway to make miso soup without tofu? It’s not good for my thyroid and I don’t care for the taste?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 26, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Absolutely, just leave it out. The beauty of miso soup is that you can put just about anything in there. You can keep it simple with just sliced green onion and mushrooms, or you can make a full on vegetable soup.

  • Reply
    Ruth Cobb
    October 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I told my daughter the other day that for some reason a bowl of miso makes me feel better when I am ill. A little restaurant in Morgantown, West Virginia, serves a good large serving of miso and has the best and prettiest sushi, called the Green Tea Restaurant, on Burroughs St.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 30, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      It sounds like a wonderful spot, Ruth, and I agree, miso has magical healing powers :)

  • 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.

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