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Wholesome Miso Soup Recipe – Your Quick Fix 15-Minutes Delight

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Experience a soul-soothing bowl of tranquility with our Zen Harmony Miso Soup Recipe! This delicate broth, rich with the umami goodness of miso paste, cradles silky tofu cubes and vibrant seaweed, creating a dance of textures and flavors. A sprinkle of green onions adds a fresh zing, while the warm, comforting liquid embraces your senses. This traditional Japanese delight is a mindful medley of simplicity and depth, offering a nourishing embrace with each serene sip. Perfect harmony in a bowl!

Embracing the heart and soul of Japanese cuisine, this Miso Soup Recipe is an invitation into a world of umami flavors and delicate simplicity. As a food lover, I’ve always been fascinated by how simple ingredients can create profound taste experiences. 

Miso Soup Recipe

The first time I tried miso soup was during a trip to Japan, where I was captivated by its soothing warmth, the rich complexity of the miso, and the tender bites of tofu.

In my quest to replicate this cherished memory, I delved into the intricacies of Japanese cooking traditions, uncovering the art of perfecting a broth and learning the significance of miso paste.

This recipe is the culmination of that journey, a harmony of tradition and personal touch, lovingly crafted for you.

With every spoonful, I invite you to share in my journey, savoring the depths of flavor and appreciating the simple beauty of miso soup. Join me – as we navigate the delicious, nourishing path of Japanese cooking.

What Is Miso Soup? 

Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called “dashi,” into which softened miso paste is mixed. It’s a staple of Japanese cuisine, served with nearly every meal and also enjoyed as a standalone dish. 

The hearty, savory flavors are deeply satisfying and comforting, and it’s common to find small pieces of tofu, diced vegetables, and seaweed in the soup, although the ingredients can vary.

The heart of miso soup is the miso paste fermented from soybeans and often rice or barley. This paste is dissolved into dashi, a broth made typically from kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) to form the soup’s base. 

The fermentation process gives miso its umami-rich flavor, which is savory, deeply satisfying, and the very essence of the soup.

Though traditional miso soup is simple, variations can include mushrooms, onions, daikon, and other ingredients, reflecting regional preferences and seasonal availability.

It’s a versatile dish, adaptable to personal taste while embodying the essence of Japanese culinary tradition.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

Miso soup is a versatile dish that can be easily modified to suit different dietary preferences or needs. Here’s how you can customize it for keto, paleo, gluten-free, or Whole30 diets:

  • Keto 

The basic miso soup recipe is relatively low in carbs, but you could add more healthy fats, like a spoonful of coconut or sesame oil, for a more keto-friendly version. Increase the protein content by adding more tofu or meat like chicken or pork.

  • Paleo 

To make miso soup paleo-friendly, ensure that the miso paste you’re using is soy-free since soybeans aren’t typically part of a paleo diet. Chickpea miso can be a good alternative. Also, add more paleo-friendly proteins like fish or chicken rather than tofu.

  • Gluten-Free 

Miso is typically gluten-free, but some types of miso paste can contain barley or other grains, so be sure to check the label if you’re on a strict gluten-free diet. Opt for a miso paste that’s labeled gluten-free to be safe.

  • Whole30 

Similar to a paleo adaptation, you’d need to ensure your miso paste is soy-free and made with compliant ingredients. Additionally, tofu should be replaced with a Whole30-compliant protein, such as chicken, and you’d want to make sure your dashi doesn’t contain any non-compliant additives.

Miso Soup Recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Make sure you have all the ingredients ready.
  • Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a 3-quart saucepan.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Place miso paste in a small bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons of hot water.
  • Whisk until a smooth paste is formed.
  • Whisk the miso mixture back into the saucepan of hot water until evenly distributed.
  • Turn the heat to low.
  • Add diced tofu, sliced mushrooms, baby spinach leaves, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Stir gently for about 1 minute to incorporate tofu and vegetables.
  • Pour into individual soup bowls.
  • Ensure each serving has an even distribution of tofu, mushrooms, and spinach.
  • Enjoy the comforting miso soup.
Miso Soup Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings Of Soup

Miso soup is incredibly versatile and can accommodate many add-ons to suit your taste and nutritional needs. Here are some optional ingredients you could consider:

  • Vegetables: Many types of vegetables can be added to miso soup. Traditional Japanese choices include daikon radish, carrots, shiitake or enoki mushrooms, spinach, and the cabbage.
  • Seafood: If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, seafood is a popular addition to miso soup. Clams, prawns, or pieces of white fish can all be used.
  • Meat: Thin slices of pork or chicken could be added to the soup. Be sure to cook them thoroughly before adding them to the soup.
  • Noodles: Soba, udon, or even ramen noodles can be added to miso soup for a more filling dish.
  • Grains: Rice or barley could be included in miso soup, making it a more substantial meal.
  • Eggs: Add a soft-boiled, hard-boiled, or poached egg to the soup.
  • Tempeh or Seitan: For a vegetarian protein boost, consider adding tempeh or seitan.
  • Tofu Varieties: While soft tofu is traditional, you could experiment with firm tofu, deep-fried tofu (atsuage), or tofu skin (yuba).
Miso Soup Recipe

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Add your water, diced tofu, sliced mushrooms, and baby spinach leaves into the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for about 2-3 hours.
  • Just before serving, turn off the heat. In a separate bowl, dilute the miso paste with a bit of hot broth from the slow cooker, then stir it back into the soup to distribute evenly.
  • Sprinkle the tiny pinch of red pepper flakes, gently stir, and serve.

Instant Pot

  • Add your water, diced tofu, sliced mushrooms, and baby spinach leaves to the Instant Pot.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook on low for about 1 minute (as we are mainly heating the ingredients rather than needing to cook them for a long time).
  • Let it naturally release for about 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Open the Instant Pot, and turn off the heat. Take some hot broth, dilute the miso paste in it, and then add it back to the pot, stirring well.
  • Sprinkle the tiny pinch of red pepper flakes, gently stir, and serve.
Tofu

Can I Use Store Bought Broth Or Should I Make My Own?

  • Flavor: Store-bought broths vary widely in flavor, and some may contain additional ingredients and seasonings that might alter the traditional flavor of your miso soup. Look for a clear, unsalted, or low-sodium broth if possible, as miso paste itself is pretty salty.
  • Authenticity: Traditional miso soup is made with a type of Japanese broth called dashi, which is made from kombu (dried kelp) and bonito flakes (dried fish flakes). This gives the soup a unique umami flavor that is hard to replicate with store-bought broth. 
  • Convenience: Of course, the advantage of using store-bought broth is convenience. It can save time and is easy to use.
Fresh Ingredients

How To Serve?

Miso soup is typically served in a small, lidded bowl alongside other dishes in a traditional Japanese meal. However, the presentation can be enhanced based on the occasion and personal preference. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Traditional Japanese Bowls: Miso soup is traditionally served in lacquer bowls. These bowls usually come with lids to keep the soup hot until it’s time to eat. These are available in various beautiful designs and can enhance the dining experience.
  • Soup Spoons: In Japanese dining, miso soup is often sipped directly from the bowl, with the ingredients eaten with chopsticks. However, you could also serve the soup with Asian soup spoons for an added touch of authenticity.
  • Garnish: The way you garnish the soup can also impact its presentation. You could sprinkle thinly sliced green onions or a few drops of sesame oil on top just before serving. A small amount of fresh herbs, like parsley or cilantro, could also add a pop of color and flavor.
  • Accompaniments: Miso soup is often served as part of a meal rather than a standalone dish. Consider serving it alongside sushi, tempura, or a rice dish. If you’re serving the soup as a starter for a non-Japanese meal, consider matching it with dishes that complement the soup’s umami flavor.
  • Serving Temperature: Miso soup is best served hot. If preparing the soup in advance, consider reheating it before serving. After reheating the soup, add the miso paste to preserve its flavor and nutrients.
Miso Soup Recipe

Perfect Side Dishes

Miso soup is a staple in Japanese cuisine and is usually served as part of a meal rather than on its own. Here are some dishes that pair well with miso soup:

  • Steamed Rice: A simple bowl of steamed Japanese rice perfectly complements miso soup. The plain, slightly sticky rice balances the umami flavor of the soup.
  • Sushi or Sashimi: Miso soup is often served as a palate cleanser in sushi restaurants. It helps to reset the taste buds between different types of sushi or sashimi.
  • Tempura: The rich, savory flavor of miso soup pairs well with the light, crispy texture of tempura, which can be made from vegetables, shrimp, or other seafood.
  • Yakitori (Grilled Skewers): Whether made from chicken, vegetables, or tofu, these skewers pair well with miso soup.
  • Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings): These can be filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables and make a great side dish for miso soup.
  • Japanese Pickles (Tsukemono): Their tangy, refreshing taste contrasts nicely with the rich soup.
  • Teriyaki dishes: Whether it’s teriyaki chicken, fish, or tofu, the sweet-savory teriyaki sauce pairs well with the umami flavor of miso soup.
  • Grilled Fish: Simple salt-grilled fish such as mackerel (saba) or salmon are traditional accompaniments to miso soup.
  • Tofu Salad: A light salad made with fresh greens, tofu, and a sesame or ginger dressing can complement the hearty soup nicely.

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Refrigeration: Store leftover miso soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Miso soup can be frozen, but the texture of some ingredients may change. Freeze portions in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
  • Thawing: To thaw frozen miso soup, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheating: Reheat miso soup gently on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare miso soup without adding delicate ingredients like tofu or green onions. Add these just before serving to maintain freshness and flavor.
Miso Soup Recipe

What Can Be Done With Leftover Soup? 

Leftover soup can be wonderfully versatile and provide the base for various creative meals. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a New Dish: Add cooked grains like rice, quinoa, or barley to your leftover soup to transform it into a hearty stew. You could also add protein such as cooked chicken, tofu, or beans.
  • Pasta Sauce: Thicker soups, particularly those with a tomato or cream base, can be used as sauces for pasta. Reheat the soup, cook your pasta, and combine.
  • Bake with It: Leftover soup can be a flavorful baking liquid. For example, it can be used instead of water when making savory muffins or slices of bread.
  • Use as a Sauce: Pureed soups can make excellent sauces for meats or veggies. You can even reduce them on the stove to concentrate the flavors and thicken the consistency.
  • Freeze for Later: If you can’t use your leftover soup right away, consider freezing it. Soup can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Just remember to leave some space in the container, as the soup will expand as it freezes.
  • Donate: If you’ve made more soup than you can consume, consider sharing it with friends, family, or a local food bank.

TIPS

  • Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality miso paste, preferably organic, for the best flavor. Look for varieties like white (shiro), yellow (shinshu), or red (aka) miso, each offering different levels of sweetness and saltiness.
  • Dashi Base: Use high-quality miso paste, preferably organic, for the best flavor. Look for varieties like white (shiro), yellow (shinshu), or red (aka) miso, each offering different levels of sweetness and saltiness.
  • Balancing Flavors: Adjust the ratio of miso paste to water to achieve the desired balance of flavors. Start with a small amount of miso paste and gradually add more to taste. Remember, miso is salty, so be cautious not to overpower the soup with saltiness.
  • Vegetable Selection: Experiment with different vegetables to add texture and nutrients to your soup. Classic choices include tofu, green onions, wakame seaweed, mushrooms (like shiitake or enoki), and daikon radish. Consider adding leafy greens like spinach or bok choy for added freshness.
  • Texture Enhancement:For a heartier texture, consider adding cooked noodles such as soba or udon directly into the soup. This transforms the soup into a more substantial meal.
Wholesome Miso Soup Recipe - Your Quick Fix 15-Minutes Delight

Wholesome Miso Soup Recipe – Your Quick Fix 15-Minutes Delight

5 from 11 votes
Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Calories

40-60

kcal

Unearth the soul-soothing magic of traditional Japanese cuisine with our carefully crafted Miso Soup Recipe. We combine the umami-rich flavor of miso paste with the delicate, savory notes of dashi broth, creating a heartwarming, simple, and deeply satisfying soup. 

Ingredient List

  • 4 Cups 4 Water

  • 2.5 Tablespoons 2.5 Mild Miso Paste

  • 0.5 Cup 0.5 Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu

  • 2 2 Large Button Mushrooms (Stems Trimmed, Sliced)

  • 24 24 Baby Spinach Leaves

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Gather Your Ingredients: Ensure you have all your ingredients ready – 4 cups of water, 2.5 tablespoons of mild miso paste, 1/2 cup of diced firm or extra-firm tofu, 2 large button mushrooms, 24 baby spinach leaves, and a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Heat The Water: In a 3 quart saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
  • Dissolve The Miso: Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat. Place the miso paste in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the hot water to the miso paste.
  • Whisk The Miso: Mix the miso paste and hot water together thoroughly with a small whisk or a fork until you achieve a smooth paste. This is an important step to ensure that the miso paste is evenly distributed in the soup later.
  • Combine The Miso Mixture And Water: Now, whisk the smooth miso mixture back into the saucepan of hot water. Stir it well until the miso is evenly distributed in the water.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Turn the heat back on to a low simmer. Add the diced tofu, sliced mushrooms, baby spinach leaves, and a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes into the saucepan. The heat should be low enough so that the soup does not come back to a full boil which can affect the beneficial probiotics in the miso.
  • Stir And Serve: Stir everything gently together for about 1 minute, ensuring that the tofu and vegetables are well incorporated into the soup. Now your miso soup is ready to be served. Pour it into individual soup bowls, ensuring each serving has an even distribution of tofu, mushrooms, and spinach. Enjoy this warming and nourishing soup.
  • EQUIPMENT LIST
  • Japanese Cooking Pot (Donabe)
  • Miso Muddler (Miso Koshi)
  • Ladle
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Spoons And Cups

Notes

  • Quality Of Ingredients: The flavor of miso soup heavily depends on the quality of miso paste and dashi broth you use. Opt for the best quality you can find for an authentic taste.
  • Adding Miso Paste: Miso paste should be dissolved in a ladle or small bowl with a bit of the soup broth before adding to the pot. This prevents clumping and ensures the miso is evenly distributed.
  • Serving Time: Miso soup is best served immediately while it’s hot and fresh.
  • Tofu And Seaweed: If you’re using tofu and seaweed, remember to cut them into small, bite-sized pieces for easy eating.
  • Versatility: Miso soup is incredibly versatile. You can add various ingredients according to your preference, including mushrooms, vegetables, and even proteins like chicken or fish.
  • Health Note: Miso soup is packed with protein and is a good source of various vitamins and minerals. However, it’s relatively high in sodium, so those on a low-sodium diet should be mindful.

Nutrition Table

Miso Soup Nutrition

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You've entered a realm where each bowl isn't just a meal; it's an expedition to the core of comfort, well-being, and the sheer delight of feeding both body and soul. My name is Julia, and I'm here to navigate you through the flavorful worlds of Soup Chick. Together, we'll uncover the artistry behind each recipe, share stories that warm the heart, and celebrate the simple pleasures of making and enjoying soup.

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