This vegan miso soup is easy, nutritious and healthy. Make it super simple or pack it with noodles and vegetables. Either way it’s a comforting dish that smells and tastes amazing!
Eating miso soup is more than just a meal. It’s a cozy sensory experience that should feel comforting and like coming home. This version of miso soup is simple and can be kept that way, or built up with noodles, mushrooms and vegetables. It’s packed with umami, making it deeply flavorful and complex.
What is Umami?
Miso is super healthy, but it’s also delicious because of it’s umami flavor. Umami is a term used to describe the fifth basic taste that is often referred to as savory or meaty. It adds depth and complexity to dishes, like in this miso soup. Umami-rich ingredients can enhance the flavors of other ingredients, creating a endless opportunities to create so many delicious dishes.
This taste is associated with foods that are rich in glutamate, an amino acid that naturally occurs in many foods. The discovery of umami is attributed to a Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, who identified the unique taste in dashi, a Japanese broth made from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If you’re looking for a simple and flavorful soup that’s naturally vegan-friendly, this soup is for you! With just a few basic ingredients, you can create a satisfying and delicious soup in minutes.
It’s quick and easy to make: This is a perfect soup to make at the end of a busy weekday. Minimal effort is needed to create a deeply flavorful broth.
It’s packed with umami: miso paste and vegetable broth or water create a rich and savory flavor that’s both satisfying and healthy.
It’s economical: If you need to use up leftover vegetables and tofu, this is a great option!
What’s the History Behind Miso Soup?
Miso soup is a traditional Japanese dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a simple yet flavorful soup made from a combination of miso paste, dashi stock, and various ingredients such as tofu, seaweed, and scallions. This delicious soup makes a great side or main dish, depending on what’s added to it.
The Components of a Vegan Miso Soup
The vegan dashi: Dashi is a stock made with kombu, which is dried kelp. This ingredient will infuse and create a deep and complex umami flavor.
You can prepare vegan dashi by placing a piece of kombu (which can be found in any Asian market) in cold water to steep overnight or simmer the kombu for about 20 minutes before serving. To release more of the flavor, cut slits on the sides before steeping it.
Miso: Miso is produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and a fungus called Aspergillus oryzae. During this fermentation process, the microorganisms break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats present in the soybeans into simpler compounds. During this time, the production of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are created.
The fermentation process increases the availability of these amino acids, making them easier for the body to absorb and utilize. Additionally, miso contains antioxidants, a high content of probiotics, and is an excellent source of protein. It also contains calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, making it highly nutritious.
Miso tip! To retain the nutrients in miso or in any dish using miso, always add it at the very end of prep once it’s removed from the heat and never allow it to boil. This will degrade all of the nutritional benefits.
I absolutely love South River Miso brand, but can’t find it in the South Bay, so Miso Master has become my go-to brand here.
Dried shiitakes: This is going to add more umami and a deep earthy flavor to the dashi. Since the shitakes are dried, they are going to release an intense, concentrated flavor.
Optional Ingredients to Add to the Miso Soup
Vegetables: Use what you’ve got and what you like! I’ve used carrots and scallions here, but kale, cabbage, snap peas, or bamboo shoots would also be great additions.
This easy vegan miso soup can be served for a savory breakfast, lunch, light dinner or side.
For More Dishes That Use Miso, Check These Recipes Out!
- This Sautéed Miso Portobello Mushrooms recipe is umami-rich and so full of flavor!
- For a shiitake mushroom and miso combo, try this Miso-Glazed Shiitake Mushrooms recipe.
- This Vegan Chickpea Miso Spread is perfect for spreading over crackers!
This vegan miso soup recipe is so easy and delicious. It’s packed with umami-rich flavor, making this a deeply flavorful and nutritious soup.
for the vegan dashi
- 3X3 piece of kombu
- 4–5 cups water
- 4 dried shiitake caps
to finish the soup
- 1 TB of miso per cup of dashi, any kind you like
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
optional components to add
- mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
- carrot, sliced and sauteed
- tofu cubes
- sesame seeds
- wakame seasoning
to prep the kombu
- First clean the kombu by wiping it down gently with a damp cloth, do not rinse it. Cut a few slits around the edges of the kombu.
to make hot dashi (option 1)
- Place 5 cups of filtered water, kombu and shiitake into a medium-sized saucepan.
- Bring to a small simmer over medium heat (do not boil) for 20 minutes. Lower the heat a bit as needed if it starts to boil.
- Skim any froth off the top of the water with a skimmer.
- Remove the kombu and shiitake before serving. (You can reserve the shiitake for making stock later or slice it up and put it into the miso soup.)
to make cold dashi (option 2)
- Place 4 cups of filtered water, kombu and shiitake into a container, cover and allow to sit 12 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the kombu and shiitake before serving.
to prepare the miso soup
- Ladle the vegan dashi into bowls. If using cold dashi, gently heat it on the stovetop first. Season with the miso, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, adding any extra components as desired.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Method: Steeped, Simmered
- Cuisine: Japanese
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