The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

For many years I was passionately consumed with studying, practicing and eating

the Macrobiotic way.

During that time if you asked me what I was having for breakfast, my answer

would invariably be “a warm, grounding, bowl of miso soup” and maybe some

brown rice with gomasio and greens.

Made from scratch–of course–the traditional way.

No powdered instant soup for me.

I followed the philosphy and tenets of the Macrobiotic diet to the letter.

Since those heady days of cooking classes at the Kushi Insitute, QiQong sessions,

shiatsu massage and Macrobiotic conferences, I have expanded my breakfast

optionsquite a bit to include more fruits and smoothies.

But I still love to make and eat miso soup.

To me it will always be my Macrobiotic superfood.

There’s just something about a savory bowl of miso soup that warms me up

and satisfies my soul.

So, What is Miso?

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Basically, a fermented soybean paste, miso has a salty taste and a buttery texture

and may also include rice, barley or wheat.

This ancient preparation is made by adding koji, a yeast mold, to soybeans and other

ingredients which are left to ferment for a period ranging from months to years.

Once the fermentation process is over, the mixture is then ground into

a soft, buttery paste.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depends upon the added ingredients

and the length of fermentation.

Miso paste can range in color from white to brown.

Generally, the darker the color, the stronger the saltiness and flavor.

Popular types of miso include, but are not limited to:

*Hatcho miso (from soybeans only)

*Genmai miso ( from brown rice and soybeans)

*Natto miso ( from ginger and soybeans)

*Mugi miso (from barley and soybeans)

*Soba miso ( from buckwheat and soybeans)

*Kome miso ( from white rice and soybeans)

I have also enjoyed the mild, creamy flavor of chickpea miso.

What Is So Great About Miso?

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

In Japan, miso soup has been a favorite of royalty and commoners alike for many

centuries.

In fact, most people in Japan eat the soup at least once a day.

And for good reason–researchers at Japan’s National Cancer Centre suggested

that:

“Eating three or more bowls

of miso soup every day

could cut women’s risk

of developing breast cancer”.

 

In fact, adding miso can increase the nutritional value of many recipes.

Fermented foods like miso supply the digestive tract with beneficial probiotic bacteria.

These bacteria help digest, synthesize, and assimilate nutrients necessary for good health

and anti-aging and strengthen the immune system.

Yes, miso is high in sodium so we should use it sparingly in meals.

However, this salty paste boasts significant nutritional benefits.

One cup  of miso paste is an excellent source of dietary fiber

and protein (64% DV), as well as a good source of minerals.

And there’s more to this health-supportive powerhouse.

Miso:

*contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein

*is an excellent source of vitamin K and a source of riboflavin

*provides small amounts of other vitamins

*is very high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content

*provides protection from radiation

*helps lower LDL cholesterol

*provides anti-aging benefits due to high antioxidants

*strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid

*strengthens the immune system and fights infection

*reduces the risks of prostate, colon and lung cancers

*is a good vegetable source for B vitamins

*protects against free radicals

How to Make Miso Soup

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

A basic miso soup usually contains a broth of miso paste along with other ingredients

including seaweed, bean curd and vegetables.

I like to improvise the flavors that I add to my miso soup depending upon what’s

season and what’s on hand in my refrigerator.

Here are a couple of variations to try:

Miso Soup with Tofu, Wakame & Vegetables

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Ingredients:

6 cups of filtered or spring water

1/2 daikon radish, julienned

1 yellow onion, sliced

1 medium carrot, juliienned

3 tablespoons wakame seaweed, cut & rinsed

2 scallions, sliced

1 slice of firm tofu, cubed

3-4 tablespoons, miso of choice

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Directions:

Soak the wakame in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Add daikon, onion, carrot slices to 6 cups of water to a pot

and bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables

are tender.

Add wakame to the stock and simmer for one minute.

Add chopped scallions and simmer another minute.

Remove from the heat.

In a ceramic bowl, dissolve miso in some of the broth

Then add dissolved miso solution to the pot of soup.

Allow the miso to steep (not cook) briefly before serving.

Now try this variation on a theme:

Miso Soup with Tofu, Shitake & Vegetables

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Ingredients:

6 cups filtered or spring water

2 tablespoons sesame or coconut oil

1/2 inch thick slice of firm tofu, cubed

1 carrot, sliced on the diagonal

1 yellow onion-chopped

3 shitake mushrooms, sliced

1 cup broccoli, washed and cut into florets

1/2 cup kale, washed and sliced

1/2 cup bok choy, washed and sliced

3 tablespoons wakame, soaked and sliced

2 scallions, chopped

3-4 tablespoons miso of choice

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Directions:

Soak the wakame in cold water for 10 minutes and drain.

Heat oil in a heavy pot.

Add onions and carrots and saute for about 2-3 minutes.

Add water to the pot, loosely cover, and bring to a boil;

Add tofu cubes and shitake mushrooms.

Lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.

Add broccoli, kale and bok choy.

Simmer for 4 minutes.

Add wakame to the stock and simmer for 1 minute.

Take the pot off of the heat.

In a ceramic bowl, mix miso with a little of the broth from the pot.

Add the dissolved miso back into the pot with the broth.

Let the soup to steep briefly before serving.

Garnish with fresh chopped scallions.

Here’s another variation on a theme:

Miso Soup with Greens, Black Beans & Brown Rice

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Ingredients:

6 cups filtered or spring water

2 tablespoons sesame or coconut oil

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

6 button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup kelp ‘noodles’

1 cup kale, sliced thin

1 cup broccoli rabe, cut into smaller pieces

2/3 cup black beans, cooked

2/3 cup brown rice, cooked

3-4 tablespoons, miso of choice

Scallions or parsley for garnish

The Amazing Health Benefits of Miso Plus Hearty, Vegan Miso Soup Recipes

Directions:

Heat oil in a heavy pot.

Add onions and garlic and saute for about 2-3 minutes.

Add water to the pot, loosely cover, and bring to a boil.

Add sliced button mushrooms.

Lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.

Add broccoli,  bok choy and kelp ‘noodles’

Simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the cooked black beans and brown rice and allow them to heat

through for 3 minutes.

Take the pot off of the heat.

In a ceramic bowl, mix miso with a little of the broth from the pot.

Add the dissolved miso back into the pot with the broth.

Let the soup to steep briefly before serving.

Garnish with fresh chopped scallions or parsley.

 

Now Create Your Own!

With miso as the flavor and nutritional base, you can vary your ingredients

according to what’s fresh, organic and in season or what you have a taste for.

Add organic corn or pumpkin squash in autumn, for example.

However you choose to make it, be sure to include this rich, creamy and

savory paste in your soups and stews.

Try adding miso to your sauces, dips and dressings as well.

You’ll be glad you did.

What’s in your miso soup? Share your favorite miso soup ingredients  with us.

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