I’ve had this miso soup in the queue for a little while now. Which isn’t normally the way I work, but I knew this humble healthy soup would get little love in between all of the sparkly & sprinkle-y holiday recipe madness. So I saved it especially for this week, which is otherwise known as the soupiest, salad-iest week on the internet. Inspired by our love of Japanese cooking, this recipe is nourishing, light, and refreshing – perfect for a winter reset.
Miso Soup Ingredients
Here’s what I use to make this healthy miso soup:
- Kombu. Kombu is dried seaweed used to make the “dashi” or broth for miso soup. Find it in Asian markets or the Asian section of well-stocked grocery stores.
- White miso paste. Find miso paste in tubs in the refrigerated section of well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets. Look for white or shiro miso for this recipe. You may see red miso in the store as well, but it has a stronger, saltier flavor that could overwhelm the other light ingredients in this soup.
- Ginger and green onions. They make this miso soup recipe extra light, nourishing, and fresh!
- Soy sauce or tamari. Add a few teaspoons at the end for an extra savory, salty kick.
- Veggies, soba noodles, and/or tofu! I add tofu, turnips and turnip greens, soba noodles, shiitake mushrooms, and carrots to my soup. This combination is delicious, but you could skip the veggies & noodles to make a lighter miso soup, similar to what you’d find at Japanese restaurants. Or add your favorite veggies! Bok choy, spinach, chard, enoki mushrooms, and sweet potatoes would all be good here.
How to Make Miso Soup
The first step in this miso soup recipe is making a homemade dashi stock. This might sound fancy, but it’s really simple. Just simmer your kombu in water for 10 minutes, being careful not to let it boil, or the broth will become bitter. After the kombu softens, remove it and bring the dashi to a boil to get it hot enough to make a miso slurry.
Next, make the miso slurry! Scoop a bit of the hot stock out of the pot and, in a small bowl, whisk in the miso. Whisk until the mixture is smooth – no one wants lumpy miso soup.
Reduce the heat on the stove, and stir the miso slurry into the soup. Add whatever hearty vegetables you like (I put in the turnips, ginger, scallions, shiitakes, and carrots at this stage), and simmer until they’re tender.
When the vegetables are soft, stir in the tofu and cooked soba noodles, if using. Add any greens you like, and simmer just until they wilt.
Remove the pot from the heat, and enjoy!
If you love this miso soup recipe…
- a piece of dried kombu, about 2x3 inches
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups dashi
- 3 to 4 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- ½ cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 4 small turnips, quartered
- ½ chopped carrots
- ½ cup firm tofu cubes
- 4 ounces cooked soba noodles (optional)
- 1 cup chopped turnip greens (optional)
- A few teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
- Make the dashi: Gently rinse the kombu piece. Place it in a medium pot with 4 cups water and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Don’t let it boil, or the kombu flavor will turn bitter. Once the kombu piece is soft, remove it and bring the water to a boil for just a few minutes.
- Reduce the heat again and add 1 cup more water. In a small bowl, stir the miso paste together with some of the hot dashi water (until it’s not clumpy), then stir to incorporate it into the soup broth.
- Add the ginger, scallions and shiitakes, turnips, and carrots and simmer on low until the turnips are soft and fork-tender (about 35-40 minutes). Note: If your soup is too thick, add 1-2 cups more water until it is a thinner consistency.
- Add the tofu and cooked soba noodles. Then taste and adjust seasonings, adding a few teaspoons of soy sauce if you like.
- Store leftover soup in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.