There are few things in this world that are more comforting to a nervous, sour or sensitive stomach than miso soup. When your digestive system is out of balance, sometimes it’s the only food that satisfies.
If you live anywhere near an Asian restaurant that sells miso soup, it’s easy to get it whenever you need a fix. But if you’re vegetarian, that doesn’t always fly. Many restaurants use a fish-based broth. If that’s a concern for you, make sure you ask before you order.
The good news is that miso soup is easy to make. I made the miso soup below as a comfort food for my partner who was sick last week. I accompanied it with a mild quinoa-millet pilaf, and some roasted broccoli.
Miso Soup is Good for your Gut
Miso is best known for its probiotic benefits. In order to maximize these benefits, make sure you buy miso from the refrigerated section of the store. The non-refrigerated miso sold in packages in the grocery section has been pasteurized, which reduces the probiotic effects. Also, make sure that you don’t boil your miso soup, because that can kill the good bacteria. For this reason, I add the miso at the very end of cooking. If you’d like to learn more about miso’s benefits, read this article.
There are plenty of ways to make miso soup, and lots of complementary veggies. If you want to add protein, for example, add some tofu cubes to the recipe below. Because I wanted last week’s miso soup to have a cleansing and grounding effect, I used root veggies.
White miso is best for warm-weather recipes. Red miso is the “heaviest” type, making it good for cold weather. I like the mellowness of barley miso, which is also on the darker, more substantial side. If I were to make this same soup in the summer, I’d probably use white miso instead.
Meatless Monday: Gingery Miso Soup
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 smallish daikon radish, diced
- 1 6-inch burdock root, scrubbed and thinly sliced (Optional: It’s not easy to find, so if you can’t find it, you can leave it out.)
- 2-3 small turnips, cubed
- 1-1/2-inch knob of ginger, minced
- 1 strip of kombu
- 1 quart water
- 2-3 tablespoons miso
- 1-2 cups collard greens, cut in 1/2-inch strips
- 2-3 green onions, sliced, for garnish
- Place the onion, daikon, burdock (if using), turnips, ginger and water in a large pot.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are softened.
- Remove the kombu and slice it into 1/4-inch strips.
- Add the collard greens to the soup and simmer for another few minutes.
- Remove 1/2 cup of the warm liquid from the soup and dissolve the miso in it, stirring with a fork to break up the chunks.
- Add the miso to the soup pot.
- Garnish with sliced scallions and serve.