Craving something simple, hearty, and nutritious? This easy vegan miso soup made with kombu seaweed and dried shitake mushrooms is a great winter warmer and perfect to serve at any time of day (or night!).
Packing a few extra veggies into miso soup is so easy, and I'll usually go for whatever greens are fresh and in-season. This time it's cavolo nero, but just about any greens that you enjoy will work fine. I also go for silken tofu here for the soft texture which pairs so well with the subtle flavor of the miso.
Serves 2 | Prep time 5 minutes | Cooking time 15 minutes
- 2 big handfuls of cavolo nero or any greens, stalks removed and finely chopped
- 1 block / 300g of silken tofu, cubed
- 1L / 4 cups of boiled water
- 2 strips / 15-20-g kombu seaweed
- 3 dried shitake mushrooms, whole
- 3-4 tablespoon miso paste (adjust to taste)
- 4 tablespoon lukewarm water (for thinning miso paste)
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped (for topping)
Step 1: Chop the spring onions and set aside for garnish.
Step 2: Remove stalks from the cavolo nero or greens and chop finely.
Step 3: Drain the tofu and cut into cubes. We used silken tofu, which has a lovely supple texture, but firm tofu will work just as nicely.
Step 4: In a medium-sized sauce pan, bring your water to the boil. Add the kombu and mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Step 5: In a separate bowl, combine the miso paste with lukewarm water until smooth and free of lumps.
Step 6: Add the cavelo nero to the broth, followed by tofu a minute later.
Step 7: Pour the miso mixture into the broth and stir gently. Once the miso has been added be careful not to allow the soup to boil as this can spoil the flavour.
Step 8: Serve in your favorite miso soup bowl or mug and top with spring onions. Enjoy!
We'll often pair our miso soup with a bowl of steamed rice and some pickles. It also makes a lovely starter to a bigger Japanese feast.
A few tips:
- Simmer the kombu and mushrooms for longer to achieve a stronger broth.
- If you're short on time, skip making the broth all together and just add kombu dashi powder to boiling water, and start from step 5.
- Never allow miso soup to boil once you have added the miso paste! Boiling can burn the miso and you will lose the beautiful subtle flavour.
There are plenty of ways you can mix up this miso soup recipe and add your favourite vegetables, greens or any other twist you like. Here are a few of our family favourites:
- Potatoes - peel and dice into 1cm cubes and add to the broth. Cook until soft before adding the miso paste mixture.
- Pumpkin - add some diced pumpkin (preferably Kabocha variety - if you're lucky to stumble across one!) and cook until soft in the broth before adding the miso.
- Noodles - Somen noodles are thin and delicious and absorb the flavours of the miso with ease, adding some extra comforting slurps to your meal.
- Greens - it's possible to add most green things to this dish. Experiment with peas, leaks, spinach, parsley and string beans. Lambs leaf lettuce works a treat but I would stay away from anything that has a strong, bitter or peppery flavour such as rocket (arugula), radicchio and watercress.
How to store miso soup
Miso soup keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days after making. Be sure to only reheat it once. Never freeze miso soup - always try to make and eat it fresh if you can.
Feel free to experiment with legumes. Some of our favourites include string beans, peas and runner beans. As soy is an allergen, you can make the miso using soy free alternatives such as a miso made from chickpeas.
Pure miso paste is made from fermented soy beans and is vegan. However, the majority of the time, miso soup in restaurants is made with fish stock (normally a combination of seaweed and bonito flakes). This makes it unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians, so always check to see what base they use as their stock.
You most certainly can and it's really not that difficut to do. However, it requires the patience of a saint and approximately 3-6 months (or longer) to ferment the soy beans to complete maturity.
Miso is very healthy. It is a fermented food and contains probiotics which are great for your microbiome. It also contains vitamin K, manganese, zinc, protein and calcium like most soya bean based products. It does contain a fair amount of salt though, so be aware of that if you are negatively affected by high sodium levels.
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