Miso soup: A warm, steamy bowl of liquid umami. I sometimes struggle with what to serve for “meatless Monday,” but this one is a surefire hit with my crew. It also checks the box on almost all special diets: It’s low-fat, low-carb, low-sugar and vegan if you buy a variety of miso paste without bonito (fish flakes). Versatile and lightning fast, this is a one-pot meal that can be prepped, cooked and ladled into bowls in 15 minutes or less. Pick up some veggie spring rolls or sushi and you’ve succeeded in pulling off one of the easiest (and healthiest) dinners of all time.
Use water, chicken broth or dashi (a Japanese-style fish broth) for the soup base, I typically use water to keep it vegan since we so rarely eat that way. Once the water is simmering, whisk in almost any type of white or yellow miso. Then just throw in the rest of the ingredients — organic firm tofu (I buy Trader Joe’s brand, but get whatever is organic where you shop), dried seaweed, sliced green onions and baby bok choy.
If you’re worried your eaters won’t care for the tofu or bok choy, just remember they are porous foods that take on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked with. And miso is a darn good flavor bomb, people. I would suggest using up any leftover miso paste for salad dressing, fish marinades and udon bowls. The Kitchn has some great ideas here. So next time you’re looking to fill the meatless Monday void, set aside 15 minutes and give this warm bowl of greens and goodness a shot.
Super Fast Miso Soup
This vegan soup is super fast and full of flavor. Top with a little sambal oelek or Sriracha, which is definitely not a traditional accompaniment. Feel free to add grated carrot, shiitake or oyster mushrooms and top with furikake. Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker.
- 5 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth)
- 4-5 tablespoons mellow white miso (yellow misio will also work)
- 1 sheet nori, torn or cut into small pieces
- 3 green onions, white and green parts sliced thin
- 2 baby bok choy, stem end trimmed and white and green parts sliced thin (if you prefer, use chard or other favorite greens)
- ¼ cup firm organic tofu, cut into small cubes
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos to make this gluten-free)
- In a medium-size pot, bring the water to a simmer. Once the water is just simmering, add the miso and whisk to combine.
- Stir in the nori, onions, bok choy, tofu and soy sauce. Taste for seasoning and add more miso or soy sauce to taste if you prefer. Serve warm.