Easy Miso Soup Recipe

miso soup with mushrooms

Miso Soup is the original health food, it’s an easy, umami rich soup recipe made with fermented bean paste that has been nourishing the Japanese for centuries ~ and you can make this delicious vegan soup for yourself  in just minutes!

simple and nourishing miso soup

What is miso soup?

Miso is an ancient Japanese seasoning paste made from fermented soybeans (and sometimes rice or barley.)  It’s got that salty, umami flavor that distinguishes so many Japanese dishes like this classic miso soup.

3 major types of miso

Miso comes in many varieties, each having a unique flavor, aroma, color, and texture; here are the main categories you’re likely to see in your grocery store ~

  • white or shiro miso is the mildest. It’s made with fermented soy beans and rice and the color is pale yellow.
  • yellow or shinshu miso has a mild flavor that is stronger than white but mellower than red miso, and is mostly made with fermented soy beans and barley. The color is light brown.
  • red or aka miso is the strongest flavored of all, also mostly made from fermented rice and barley, and is darker in color.

Miso Soup in a white bowl

Japanese soup is one of the healthiest foods you can eat

It’s also one of the easiest meals to prepare. 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.

a bowl of miso soup with mushrooms

Where to find Miso paste

Miso is sold fresh, and most large grocery store chains carry it nowadays. Look for it in the refrigerated section, usually near the wonton wrappers, tofu, etc.

Miso is a biologically active, living food, like yogurt.

Cooking destroys some of its beneficial bacteria and can change the flavor.

When you cook with miso you’ll usually add it at the very end, once the pot is taken off the heat, so you don’t destroy the nutrients.

fresh mushrooms

Use a variety of mushrooms in this soup

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: tiny little brown or white mushrooms come clustered on one large stem or stalk. You’ll find them in plastic packaging in the mushroom section.

sliced spring onions

What to eat with miso soup

  • Miso soup is a complete meal in itself, especially when you add protein rich tofu. But we love to pair our soup with a big bowl of steaming hot edamame (soy) beans showered in sea salt.

cubes of tofu

Miso is a healthy instant soup!

  • Miso soup can be made as quickly as any instant soup, but is so much healthier for you.
  • It’s a perfect soothing hydrator 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.)

a bowl of miso soup with edamame beans

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.

Other recipes using miso paste ~

Reader Rave ~

“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.” ~Mary

Miso Soup
3.59 from 141 votes

Miso Soup

Miso Soup is the original health food, it's an easy, umami rich soup recipe made with fermented bean paste that has been nourishing the Japanese for centuries ~ and you can make this delicious super food soup for yourself  in just minutes!
Course Soup
Cuisine Japanese
Diet Low Calorie, Low Fat
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Calories 67kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 6 cups water (you can also use part vegetable or chicken stock if you like)
  • 4 Tbsp Miso paste
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cut in small cubes (use more if you like)
  • 2 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 or 5 scallions, sliced thin (use all of the white and a little of the green)


  • Heat the stock and water to a simmer and add the mushrooms and tofu. Simmer for a couple of minutes to cook the mushrooms.
  • When you're ready to serve, add the scallions and take the pan 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.

Cook's notes


  • 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.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    aaliyah coffie
    May 2, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    I was wondering, do I have to add the tofu or can I leave it out? My sister isn’t a fan of tofu so could I just leave it out and replace it with something else?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 2, 2021 at 5:56 pm

      Just leave it out, miso soup can be made with anything, or nothing! I love mushrooms and green onions.

  • Reply
    Nancy W.
    January 27, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve never made miso soup, so on this grey, cold day, with snow in the forecast, I thought it would be a perfect time to try. Found your recipe, and oh my gosh, it was sooooo good!! I took your suggestion and made it a little more hearty than what I usually get in a restaurant – full of mushrooms, tofu, carrots, celery and (red) onion (because it’s what I had). Also at your recommendation, served it with a side of edamame (and roasted cauliflower with turmeric). I’m over the moon – can’t believe I waited so long to try it – will definitely be a staple in our house! 🙂 Thank you SO much!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 28, 2021 at 6:29 am

      Sounds like a cozy meal for a cold day 🙂

  • Reply
    Lydia Bartlett
    January 14, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for posting this soup, Sue. I have never had it and look forward to making some. I have made hot and sour soup before, my family loved it. I can’t wait to add this soup to my soup/stew repertoire! 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 14, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Lydia, I need to do hot and sour soup for the blog sometime 🙂

  • Reply
    June 15, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    5 stars
    Really enjoyed! I love how I could add extra veggies! We will definitely be making this often ?

  • Reply
    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
      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
    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
      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
      October 30, 2017 at 7:26 pm

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

  • Reply
    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
    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
        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
      November 7, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      I’m so glad, thanks!

  • Reply
    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
      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.

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