Healing foods: Hearty Miso Soup

By   11 Comments

Last week I wrote about immune-boosting strategies. One of my favorite immune-boosting meals is a big bowl of hearty miso soup. I’m not talking the little bowl you get before your sushi with a couple of cubes of tofu and the odd bit of seaweed. I’m talking about a nice, hearty, nourishing bowl of nutrient-packed goodness.

Miso is a type of fermented soy, so it’s easy to digest. This soup is very alkalinizing and balancing for your system, so it’s a great meal to eat on your way into or out of a cleanse. It’s also a great vegan alternative to chicken soup if you’re feeling under the weather and want a little warm soup love to make you feel better.

Here’s a recipe I’ve adapted from what I’ve learned from Chef James.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 large shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 4 large savoy cabbage or bok choy leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup adzuki beans or quinoa, pre-soaked and cooked (if using canned beans, make sure they’re the low- or no-sodium variety and are well rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons red miso
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (tip: keep your ginger in the freezer and use a zester on it, still frozen)
  • 1/4 cup arame, kombu or wakame (if you’re using kombu or wakame, cut them with scissors into thin strips)
  • 1 green onion, chopped


In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the coconut oil on medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the shitake mushroom, a dash of salt, and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add carrot, savoy cabbage, and adzuki beans or quinoa. Stir to mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

While veggies are cooking, bring water to boil in a kettle. In a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of boiling water to the 2 tablespoons miso paste, and whisk together to form a more liquid-y paste using a fork.

Add remaining water plus miso mixture to the pot with the veggies. Mince ginger, seaweed and green onion into the soup. Stir to mix thoroughly. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to soften the seaweed, and serve immediately.


  1. Thanks Margaret. I LOVE miso soup, but never thought about making it at home until now. This, and your immune boosting post, will change that.

  2. Thanks so much Nicola! It’s such a delicious soup and really so easy to make. I had it for lunch just today. That very bowl in the picture 😉

  3. While I avoid soy, this soup does look absolutely delicious! So sad to see D-Tox January end, but happy to find your blog! 🙂


    • Hi Shirley! I avoid soy, too, but in this case it’s in its most digestible form: fermented. As long as you’re getting organic miso made from non-gmo soybeans it’s okay to have once in a while. Great to find you too!

  4. Eileen


    I believe you can also get Miso made from Brown Rice, no soy, correct Margaret? Miso soup is also great when you feel sick or run down. Amazingly healing!

    • I’ve never heard of that, but it’s possible. I buy tempeh made from rice and black beans from an amazing fermented foods seller at the farmers market here, so I’m sure a paste of fermented rice is possible. Yes, miso soup is incredibly healing.

  5. Yael


    Hi Margaret just came across your site by accident was really looking for a recipe to use with shiro miso paste I just bought. Your recipe just happened to be the one where I had all the ingredients in the house. I must say it turned out sensational, the taste was rich with complex flavors and felt very nourishing going down. I like that it took no time to make and was ready very quickly. I will be making this again. Thanks for sharing. Look forward to checking out the rest of your site.

    • Delighted that you like the recipe! It’s one of my personal favorites.

  6. Pingback: 45 Amazing Soup Recipes | Pure Traditions

  7. Everyone one around me is very sick today. I’m making lots of this to feed the village. Thanks so much for this Margaret and Chef James!

    It’s always a big hit when I bring it to friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.