20-minute Miso Soup Recipe with leeks, shiitake mushrooms, wilted greens, and tofu makes for a fast and easy weeknight dinner. Full of flavor and nutrients it is highly nourishing while remaining light and lean. Vegan and GF adaptable. Includes a Video.
While in Kyoto several years ago now, we experienced the most soulful Miso Soup. Until that visit, I didn’t realize that Miso Soup is traditionally eaten for breakfast there. So chilly morning walks often resulted in popping in small neighborhood cafes and sipping on warming Miso Soup. How nourishing it felt.
Here in the states, it is most often served as an appetizer or starter, but today we are making it a bit more hearty- enough so to become a meal unto itself.
What exactly is Miso Soup?
Miso Soup is a brothy Japanese Soup made with miso paste (fermented soybean paste), dashi broth, with seaweed, vegetables and tofu. Light and nourishing, miso soup is healthy- rich in protein and full of gut-supporting probiotics.
The word that comes to mind when describing the taste of miso soup is umami. Earthy, toasty, salty, and subtly sweet. Seaweed adds a whisper of the ocean, in a more than pleasant way. When made with traditional dashi broth there is a smoky fish quality which is heavenly to me.
What I love about this Miso Soup Recipe
This version of Miso Soup can be made in 20 minutes and is hearty enough to be served as dinner. Sauteed Leeks, Shitake mushrooms, and handfuls of greens ( like spinach or chard) bump up the nutrition here. Use cubes of light and lean silken tofu for extra simplicity, or for extra heartiness, add cubes of crispy tofu. Up to you!
The leeks are especially nice here- an idea I got from my friend Nami.
Feel free to make the dashi broth- or keep this fast and easy with veggie broth or mushroom broth.
Miso Soup Video
Ingredients in Miso Soup
- leek- white and light green parts
- shiitake mushrooms
- broth – veggie broth, dashi broth or mushroom broth
- seaweed (optional) –kombu, wakame, toasted nori (see notes)
- soy sauce ( or GF soy sauce)
- Miso Paste – white, yellow or red or GF Miso Paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wilatable greens– chard, bok choy, spinach etc.
- Tofu – Silken Tofu ( traditional) or make Crispy tofu
- Garnishes: any or all – sliced scallions, toasted Sesame Seeds, Furikake, Toasted Sesame Oil
- optional addition – bonito granules – elevates the flavor, but may contain MSG and is not vegan. Delicious though…
How to make Miso Soup
Note: If making homemade dashi broth from scratch- do this first- see recipe notes.
In a large pot, saute shitake mushrooms and leeks in a little oil over medium heat, until golden and fragrant.
Add the broth- either using dashi broth, veggie broth or mushroom broth and bring to a simmer.
If not using dashi broth, adding a sheet of kombu ( above) to the simmering soup will add a nice flavor.
Add some warm broth and whisk to combine. Set this aside until the very end.
TIP: You don’t want to boil or overly heat miso paste or you can kill all the healthy fermented bacteria here.
Carefully cut the silken tofu ( extra firm) into small 1/2-inch cubes.
Add the greens to the soup and stir until just wilted, bring to a simmer.
Turn heat off. Stir in the miso paste that was mixed with broth- and do not boil.
Once you are happy with the flavor, ladle the hot miso soup over the tofu.
More miso recipes you may like:
- 20 Best Broth-Based Soup Recipes
- Vegan Ramen with Miso Shiitake Broth
- Spicy Miso Ramen
- Kyoto Style Sweet Potatoes with Miso, Ginger and Scallions
- Miso Tofu Wrap with Winter Squash and Furikake
- Miso Mushroom Bowl
20-minute Miso Soup Recipe with leeks, shiitake mushrooms, wilted greens, and tofu makes for a fast and easy weeknight dinner. Full of flavor and nutrients it is highly nourishing while remaining light and lean. Vegan and GF adaptable.
- 1 large leek
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive or sesame oil
- 6 cups broth -veggie, dashi (see notes), or mushroom broth
- 1 sheet kombu– optional, & only if not using dashi broth-see notes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, more to taste or use GF liquid amino acids.
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons miso- white, red or yellow (I prefer white) or use GF Miso paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2–3 cups chard, bok choy, or baby spinach- torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
- Tofu (1 package extra-firm Silken Tofu –or make crispy tofu– see notes)
- Garnishes: sliced scallions, furikake, toasted sesame Seeds, toasted Sesame Oil
- Optional Additions: reconstituted wakame seaweed (1/2 cup chopped) or 1/2 teaspoon Bonito Granules (not vegan) but tasty!
If making the dashi broth, start this first. ( See notes). Feel free to do this ahead. For th2 20 minute version- skip this step.
- Slice the leek in half lengthwise, then slice white and light green parts into thin half-moons. Place in a strainer and rinse well.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sliced shiitake mushrooms, discarding the stems (shiitake stems can give some people an allergic reaction, so I leave these out). Saute for 6-8 minutes until softened and fragrant.
- Add the broth. If not using dashi broth, feel free to add a piece of kombu to the broth (which you will remove at the end). Add wakame if using. Bring to a simmer for 7-10 minutes. Season with soy sauce and mirin.
- While the soup is simmering, prep the tofu. Carefully cut open the silken tofu package using scissors, being mindful not to crush. Drain and very carefully place tofu block on a cutting board. Slice into ½ inch slices, then cubes. Divide the tofu cubes among 4 bowls. Sprinkle the tofu with scallions and sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.
- Scoop out ½ cup warm broth and whisk with the miso paste in a small bowl until very smooth. Set aside.
- Add the greens to the simmering soup, stirring 1 minute or so until just wilted. Turn heat off.
- Pour in the miso mixture. It’s important here not to boil the miso paste or you will kill all the healthy fermented gut-healing bacteria. Taste and add salt and pepper- you want this slightly salty to mitigate the salt-less tofu. Once happy with the flavor then serve.
- Ladle the hot miso soup over the silken tofu. Serve immediately.
To make Dashi Broth: Heat 6 ½ cups water in a pot. Add ½ cup dried mushrooms (shiitakes), 1 sheet kombu seaweed (or wakame) and 1/2 cup optional bonito flakes (not vegan). Simmer gently for 30 minutes, strain.
Leftovers keep 4 days in the fridge. When reheating, gently heat to almost to a simmer, careful not to boil.
Adding a seaweed element elevates- wakame, kombu, or making the dashi broth. But it is also good without!
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
- Calories: 212
- Sugar: 6.9 g
- Sodium: 999.2 mg
- Fat: 9.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.2 g
- Fiber: 3.9 g
- Protein: 13.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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