Try this healthy miso soup recipe for cold winter nights. You don’t even have to run to the store — the ingredients in your refrigerator will suffice!
By Kirsten Johnson
Many of us start a new year with the cliché “new year, new me” mantra. A pledge to ourselves to be more active, eat healthier, maybe even lose weight. Then real life and busy schedules take over, and some of us backslide into the ease of leaning on more processed foods and takeout. One of my favorite ways to stay out of those traps and clean out my refrigerator is soup.
If you keep your favorite broth on hand, it’s easy to throw everything but the kitchen sink in there and — voila! You have soup. One of my go-to ways to add a little extra health in there is by making miso soup. Miso, a paste made from fermented beans and grains, is rich in folic acid, various minerals and vitamins E, K and B. Because it’s fermented, it provides beneficial bacteria to the gut. Add in the benefits of the veggies you add to the soup, and you’ve got a comforting, flavorful bowl of health.
You can also use miso in dressings, sauces and marinades. I love putting miso dressing on steamed kale — a little something I stole from one of my favorite breakfast joints in Chicago. There are many varieties, made from different beans or grains, that have slightly different colors and flavors, including chickpea miso for those who are soy-free. All are delicious and are worth exploring!
Vegetable Miso Soup
½ tablespoon olive oil
6 cups of vegetable broth (I prefer Imagine no-chicken broth, thus the yellow hue)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3-plus tablespoons minced ginger (can sub for ½ that amount of powdered ginger)
1 cup celery, sliced
1 ½ cups carrots, sliced
1 ½ cups onion, diced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (button, cremini or baby bellas are great)
2-plus cups kale or other leafy green, torn or chopped
1/3 cup miso paste, dissolved in ¼ cup broth
Other additions that would be great: beans, soba or other noodles, herbs, zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli and other veggies.
In a large pot, sautee the onions and celery in the oil. Once softened add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Next add all the ingredients except the kale and miso. If you are oil-free or just want to make things really easy, skip the first step and add everything except the miso and kale to the pot.
Bring everything to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. While it simmers, remove a ladleful of broth to a bowl and stir the miso into it. After the soup has simmered, remove from heat, stir in the kale and miso.
Kirsten Johnson moved to Metro Detroit 10 years ago and launched her personal chef business, Fresh Chef Detroit, three years later. She cooks for individuals and families throughout the metro area, including weekly personal chef services, dinner parties, small events and private dinner services. She also is available as a chef for those in Detroit for work, including business travelers, actors and other performers, as well as accompanying clients on their travels. While she cooks anything and everything from around the globe, she specializes in vegetarian, vegan and restricted diets. Find her on Facebook or Instagram @freshchefdetroit to check out what she’s cooking up for people this week.
See more recipes from Kirsten: