Miso Soup: I make it all the time. It’s healthy, warm, satisfying, and a classic dish from Japan. You’ll find this served at the beginning of your meal at most all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants as it stimulates your appetite and eases digestion. You can quickly and easily make your own Miso Soup at home!
From Care2, here is a quick list of the top ten benefits of eating miso soup:
1. Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
2. Stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.
3. Restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.
4. Aids in the digestion and assimilation of other foods in the intestines.
5. Is a good vegetable-quality source of B vitamins (especially B12).
6. Strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid.
7. Reduces risk for breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.
8. Protects against radiation due to dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.
9. Strengthens the immune system and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
10. High in antioxidants that protects against free radicals.
I’ve heard on many occasions that when you’re sick with a cold, you’d be better off eating a bowl of miso soup than a bowl of chicken noodle soup! Maybe as a vegan, I’m a bit biased, but there is clear evidence supporting the claims that miso soup will get your immune system working in overdrive, allowing you get back to feeling in tip top shape.
2 cups of water
2 tbsp of miso paste (yellow or white miso)
1-2 green onions, diced
1 tbsp Wakame (sea vegetable, available in the Japanese section of the grocery store – soak the dried wakame in water before adding to the soup)
1/4 block of extra-firm tofu, chopped into cubes (optional)
chopped garlic rounds (optional)
This recipe makes one bowl of soup – double it if you’d like to make two bowls!
The key to preparing miso soup is not overheating the miso paste. You don’t want to heat this soup, especially the miso, beyond a certain point as the heat will kill all of the beneficial enzymes that makes this soup a nutritional powerhouse.
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan along with the Wakame, green onion, tofu, mushrooms, and garlic. Simmer until the mushrooms are soft. Reduce the broth to low.
Scoop one cup of broth from the pot out and add the miso paste to it. Stir with a spoon until the miso dissolves. Put the miso/broth back into the pot and stir for 2-3 minutes on low. Do not bring back to a boil as this will kill the nutrients in the soup!
If I had the time, I would eat miso soup every single day for its health benefits and the fact it is so delicious! It is a great start to a full Japanese-themed meal of sushi and teriyaki, or you can eat a big bowl of it on its own.