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
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3.58 from 140 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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

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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46 Comments

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  • 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
    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!

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