Sometimes when the weather is chilly or you’re simply feeling under the weather, there is nothing better than a warm brothy soup. This miso soup combines nutrient-rich bone broth with the probiotic benefits of miso. And you get the benefits of vitamins and minerals from vegetables too. Make a big batch for the whole family or just one bowl for you!
What Is Miso?
Miso is a potent paste made out of fermented soybeans. But isn’t soy bad for you, you ask? Yes and no. Soy beans, like any legume, contain a large amount of phytic acid which interferes with nutrient absorption. They also contain phytoestrogens, which have their own negative side effects.
However, miso is fermented soy. Fermented foods contain bacteria which has eaten the sugars and starches present in the food. This process preserves the food and also gives it probiotics, enzymes, and additional vitamins. It makes the food more easily digested and the nutrients easier for the body to use.
There are several different colors of miso available, and all of them are just fine for soup making. Generally, the darker colored the miso, the stronger the flavor. I can usually find miso in the ethnic food section of my grocery store, but there are also some good organic options available online.
How to Make a Quick Miso Soup
To make miso soup, add a few teaspoons of miso paste is to a broth with spices and vegetables. Traditionally, dashi, the broth used for miso soup, is made with dried bonito (a type of fish) flakes and kelp. While you are welcome to do it this way, you can also use a good chicken bone broth like the one sold at Kettle and Fire.
Then, just top with additional seasonings, some vegetables, the miso, and sometimes a hard-boiled egg.
One note on adding the miso — it works best if you remove about ¼ cup of the warm broth from the pan and whisk in the miso paste with a fork before returning it to the rest of the soup. Once you add the miso, just warm the soup gently. Don’t boil it or you’ll destroy all the gut healthy bacteria in the miso!
If you’d like to try your hand at making dashi, the traditional fish and kelp broth for miso soup, this video is a good one.
No Time to Make From Scratch?
If you want to make life even simpler, Kettle and Fire also sells a delicious miso soup that’s all ready to go. Just heat it up and add any vegetables you like.
Homemade Miso Soup Recipe
- In a small saucepan, combine the broth, minced garlic, onion powder, grated ginger, and sliced mushrooms.
- Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Allow the broth to cool slightly.
- Remove ¼ cup of the warm broth to a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste.
- Return the broth/miso mixture to the pan with the rest of the broth.
- Turn the heat on low and add the spinach, heating just until warmed.
- Top with the green onion and hard boiled egg if desired.
Have you ever used miso? What do you do with it?