We have come to think of Japanese food as being tempura, teriyaki, and sushi but it is miso soup that the Japanese will not want to live without. Originally, miso soup was served as a breakfast food.
I remember the week I had a little Japanese girl visiting who could not speak English; when I made her this soup with the addition of udon noodles, she was so happy and said Oishi ( 美味しい ) many times which means delicious! Fortunately, I understood because I had been in Japan and said Oishi at many meals.
Miso the main ingredient is a fermented paste of soybeans and either barley or rice with salt. It is a cultured and fermented soy food that helps digestion by adding Lactobacillus acidophilus (the good kind of bacteria also found in yogurt).
Miso is full of lecithin, linoleic acid, and B12 and is high in protein.
Research has also shown it to be effective in treating some forms of cancer, heart disease and reduce the possibility of developing stomach ulcers. To learn all about miso and it’s many benefits click on this link: A Cup Of Miso A Day Will Help Keep You Strong!
Learn more about the healthy ingredients I used for this recipe
Shiro – “Mellow White” miso is the most popular. Light in color and mellow in flavour, Shiro is a pleasant way to introduce miso to the first time user. It is ideal for soups, dressings, and dips. It is also my favorite one to use.
Kombu & Wakame – Seaweed adds a very good taste to the soup. It is the oldest plant on earth that protects us from many modern dangers, including radiation poisoning, heart disease, inflammation, and cancer. Learn how good seaweed is for you: Seaweed, Oldest Plant On The Earth Is Wonderful For You
Mushrooms are more than a delicious addition to your meal, they are full of health benefits too. There are over 140 thousand types of mushroom-forming fungi. Whether it is a small button mushroom or a large brown one, it is a wonderful superfood to be added to make meal extra tasty.
Spinach -And of course, spinach, as we know, is very good for us. Spinach was a tasty superfood even before there was the term Superfood. We’re referring of course to Popeye the Sailor Man. One can of the green stuff and he turned into muscle popping tornado of energy. Even without Popeye’s recommendation, spinach contains more nutrients per calorie than any other food on the earth.
Ginger – I am a great fan of ginger and like to add it to my meals often. Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine have used ginger to help cure and prevent health problems for thousands of years.
Tofu –When tofu in the west became popular, it was believed to be one of the superfoods full of health benefits. Later it was reported to be bad for us! It has had a bad rap because it is made from soy. If it really isn’t good for us, then why are the Japanese who eat lots of tofu have the highest life expectancy in the world? Tofu is a favourite of mine and the Japanese to add to this soup. It is a good source of protein. Learn all about Tofu Really Is Full of Health Benefits That are Good for Us
Miso Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms
- 1 piece Kombu
- 1 piece Wakame
- 4 Large Brown Mushrooms or 4 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 inch fresh ginger
- 8 spinach leaves
- 1-3 Tbsp Shiro Miso*
- 3 cups Water
- chives Chopped, optional for topping
- Tofu Chunks optional
- Chop the ginger finely.
- Soak the Kombu, Wakame, ginger and shitake mushrooms in 3 cups of water in a saucepan for 30 minutes.
- Now bring the soaked mixture to a boil.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain out the kombu, wakame, and mushrooms saving the liquid.
- Slice the Wakame and kombu and cut the stocks off shitake mushrooms and chop finely, and slice mushroom caps in half and return to stock
- Add the spinach leaves and tofu if you are adding it.
- Simmer on medium heat till spinach leaves have wilted. Turn heat off.
- Add the miso. (Never boil miso because that kills the live cultures which are so beneficial). Stir the miso thoroughly into the water and then add this back to the pot. As Miso is high in sodium, adjust how much you add to taste.
- Now serve your delicious miso soup.
For detailed information on each of the seaweeds read Sea Vegetables Health Benefits.
Also, try these other Japanese Favorites with Miso
Miso Sauce – This is a very simple and quick sauce to make. The taste will vary greatly depending on which type of miso is used. For a very light flavoured one use Shiro miso but really any miso will work. This recipe is an all-time favourite of mine as it is so easy. I’ve been making it for at least 31 years! (now stop calculating my age)
Shiitake Mushroom Soup is Savory and Delicious -This shiitake mushroom miso soup is a delicious start to a meal and it is full of many health benefits from the mushroom, seaweed, miso, and ginger. It is a delicious superfood soup for you. Exotic shiitake mushrooms have been part of the diet in China, Japan, and Korea for thousands of years! Their medicinal and health benefits are proven, from boosting the immune system to fighting cancer.
And More Healthy and Tasty Soup Recipes
Easy Peasy Green Pea Soup Is Especially Delicious – This green pea soup really is yummy and it is a super easy soup to make. Hearing me say that frozen peas taste good is amazing; as I don’t even like to eat frozen peas. But this creamy green pea soup is really delicious and within a week I had it twice! What I think is the difference is that this is the first time I had organic frozen peas and I am sure they taste better. The other thing about this soup is that it is surprisingly hardy and very filling.
Borscht with a Difference – Borscht is the best way to get healthy powerfood beets filled with beta-carotene and minerals into our diet. It is quick to cook, easy to vary, and enjoyed by everyone, even children. This is a traditional soup in Ukraine; many people from that country landed in my home city of Edmonton. This is my vegan version with just a few adjustments to the ingredient list.
Creamy Swiss Chard Soup with Almonds is Delicious – This delicious Swiss chard soup is hearty with the addition of potatoes and is very nutritious too. I love that it is so creamy without the addition of cow’s milk and the crunchy almonds on top.
Fresh Quick Pea Soup Recipe– This is a fast soup and delicious soup to make.
Enjoy a Cool Tomato Soup On a Hot Summer Day– This is a one bowl serving so if you are making it for two, double the recipe.
Beet Soup – This is a sweet soup with beets, and a hint of orange flavour giving it an interesting twist.