Even though we have now entered the dog days of summer, there are still days when I find soup appealing. Heat, or no heat, sometimes you just need something warm and soothing. Miso, a fermented soybean paste, originated in Japan, which is why you typically see miso soup eaten before meals at many Japanese restaurants. However, you can now find pre-made miso soups and the miso paste in many local supermarkets. Packaged miso soups are good in a pinch, but it’s so easy to make your own! Plus, making it at home means you can tailor it to your specific tastes.
I chose to keep my soup pretty basic, but feel free to play around with ingredients and throw in whatever vegetables you like!
4 cups water
3-4 Tbsp miso paste (to taste)
3/4 block of firm tofu
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp onion powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
1. Remove tofu from package and wrap in paper towels to remove moisture. Leave wrapped and set for at least 15 mins, changing towels if needed. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove a half cup of the water and whisk it into 3 Tbsp of the miso paste. This will prevent any clumping. Add the miso mixture back to the pan of boiling water and stir. Add the chopped veggies, cubed tofu, and onion powder.
3. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are soft. About 20 minutes.
4. Once veggies are cooked, remove from heat, sprinkle in a pinch of red pepper flakes, and serve.
Miso soup acts as a great way to kick off a meal or pairs well to accompany most dishes as a side dish. Not only is the taste appealing, this soup also packs quite the healthy punch. Healthy benefits of miso include:
1. Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
2. Stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.
3. Restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.
4. Is a good vegetable-quality source of B vitamins (especially B12).
5. Strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid.
6. Reduces risk for breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.
7. Strengthens the immune system and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
8. High in antioxidants that protects against free radicals.
With it being 90F this weekend, soup may not sound like the best idea, but maybe try it out on the next rainy, gloomy day. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious and easy it is! Enjoy 😀