Nothing nourishes the soul like a hot bowl of soup, especially on rainy cold days when you find yourself needing a little pick-me-up. This healthy vegan miso soup is a quick and easy way to satisfy your comfort food cravings. Whether you make a batch to ward off winter chills or serve it up as a starter, we guarantee this recipe will be a big hit.
What is Miso?
Miso is made from fermented soybeans, koji (a Japanese cultured grain) and salt. There are several different types of miso, but the best miso for miso soup is akamiso or red miso which is aged the longest and has the strongest flavor. That said, if you’re worried about your salt intake, low-sodium white miso also works beautifully as a miso soup base. You can pick miso up at natural food stores, Asian markets or on online.
All About Dashi for Vegans
The traditional miso soup you know and love from your local sushi joint uses dashi, a stock made from kelp and dried bonito which is a type of fish. This stock is responsible for lending that savory umami flavor to the broth. Fortunately, making a completely vegan version of miso soup is quite easy. You can rely on mushrooms to infuse your broth with a similar umami flavor.
Enoki mushrooms should be your first choice for this soup. These mild-tasting mushrooms have a delicate, almost sweet flavor that few can turn down. You can often find them at larger supermarkets or specialty stores. If you can’t find enoki, white mushrooms will do the trick.
How to Make Vegan Miso Soup
- 2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) fresh enoki mushrooms or 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup miso paste
- 1 package (16 ounces) firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- Thinly sliced green onions
Step 1: Start sauteeing
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and saute the mushrooms, onion, garlic and ginger until they become tender. Pour in the water and add the miso paste and allow it to come to a boil.
Step 2: Get simmering
Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. Be sure to leave your Dutch oven uncovered.
Step 3: Time for tofu
Add in the tofu and continue simmering the broth until the tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes.
Editor’s Tip: If you’re not a fan of tofu, you can substitute it for your favorite vegetables instead. Seaweed is a natural choice, but chard, leek, cabbage or even sweet potatoes make fantastic options.
Once you’ve mastered miso soup, why not try one of these other healthy soup recipes?