What is miso soup? Originally from Japan, miso soup has made a big impression on cultures around the globe. It is a low-calorie, delicious soup made from sea weed, dashi stock and sometimes soy beans. When combined with vegetables or meat pieces, it is a whole meal on its own. Traditionally however, it is served as a light side dish for main meals. Nutrient-rich and easy to make, miso soup is a great supplement to any diet.
What is Miso Soup Made from?
Original miso soup is made from combining miso paste and a special stock called “dashi”. Dashi is often made with dried kelp and bonito fish. Many natural food stores and vendors sell ready-made dashi broth, but you can make you own by boiling kelp or wakame seaweed in water. Miso paste is also available in stores and often contains tofu, wakame and soy beans.
Miso soup has been adapted by many cultures. In the US, cooks that cannot find dashi stock usually use vegetable stock instead. It is also not uncommon for people to add a range of vegetables to the soup to make it rich and filling. Vegetables like potatoes, onions and mushrooms are added to miso soup. Other cultures prefer adding tofu, shrimp and even pork.
Health Benefits of Miso Soup
The nutrients in miso soup are derived from the dashi stock. Traditional dashi stock contains wakame or kelp, as well as fish. The seaweed in miso soup is rich in calcium and magnesium, which are essential to strong teeth and bones. Seaweed also contains iodine, iron, folate and vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. This wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals improve every area of health from metabolism to red blood cell production.
Whether the dashi is made from bonito fish or dried sardines, the addition of fish gives miso soup plenty of omega fatty acids. These fatty acids are great at controlling inflammation that usually results from diabetes, heart disease and bowel conditions. If you want more nutrients in your miso soup, add healthy ingredients like tofu, mushrooms, Swiss chard and potatoes.
How to Make Miso Soup at Home
You can make a bowl of miso soup in your kitchen. Although the traditional version only includes miso paste and dashi stock, feel free to add vegetables, meats, seafood and spices. All you need is:
- 4 cups water
- 2 tsp. dashi granules
- 2-3 tbsp. miso paste
- 2 medium onions, cut into small 1/2 –inch pieces
Add water and dashi in a large pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Stir to combine.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in the miso paste. Add the onion pieces and let the soup simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add seasoning, meat, seafood and/or cooked vegetables. Serve.
Miso soup is a low-calorie alternative to processed varieties. It can be prepared in minutes and enjoyed at all meals. Add cooked vegetables for a vegetarian meal, or meats and seafood like shrimp for a high-protein dish.
Here is another simple miso soup recipe that you will like.