Sunday, November 15, 2009

Miso Soup with Shitake Mushrooms

The farmers market this morning was great as always. I don’t ever like leaving the house before 7 am since I am not a morning person, but I love getting to the market early before the farmers get too busy to chat. We always stop at our two favorite organic farmers and talk to them about what they have and will be coming soon. Rudy at "Cats Paw" is writing a book now about nutrition and health that I am anxious to read. He is a fascinating man who I believe has a graduate degree in biology. We frequently have fun conversations about health that I always enjoy and learn from.

Last night I made the mistake of asking my parents if they wanted turkey for Thanksgiving. Big mistake on my part. It my mother less than a second to say, “of course, how can we have Thanksgiving without turkey”. I am not looking forward to bringing a turkey into the house since it will mean a ludicrous about of cleaning to decontaminate the refrigerator and kitchen after the holiday. Additionally, I had to be careful not to buy a lot this morning that needed refrigeration to save room in the refrigerator to defrost a turkey. I had forgotten what a pain cooking a turkey was. I haven’t decided what main dish I am going to make for Dan and I. The idea of involtini with seitan is appealing to me at the moment.

Dinner last night was comforting, but a bit heavier than I normally make. This morning I felt like I wanted something light for breakfast. Since we have two containers of white miso in the refrigerator I decided to make my version of a traditional Japanese breakfast of miso soup. This recipe is not traditional; it is what I had in the refrigerator. I added fresh shitakes for flavor and for the lentinan, which fights cancer. Additionally don’t forget about the article earlier this year regarding mushrooms protecting women from breast cancer. When you make this soup don’t cook the miso as it destroys the vitamin B12. Here is what I made this morning for breakfast.

Miso Soup with Shitake Mushrooms
Serves 2


8 cups water
½ white onion, peeled and sliced thinly top to bottom
2 carrots, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced (allow to stand 10 minutes so allicin will develop)
½ head bok choy, finely sliced (about 6 cups) – stems and leaves separated
¼ pound shitake stems, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white miso
½ teaspoon liquid aminos, to taste
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil for garnish


Combine the water, onion, carrots, garlic and bok choy stems in a pot and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Now add the shitake stems and bok choy leaves and cook a few minutes to wilt the greens. You want the greens to remain a bright vibrant green. Turn off the heat and remove about a cup of the soup broth to a small bowl. Add the miso to broth and whisk until it dissolves in the soup. Add the miso to the soup pot and taste for seasoning. I added a touch of liquid aminos for salt.

Serve the soup in a warm bowl and top each serving with a splash of toasted sesame oil. This would also be nice with a few fresh green onions on top for a nice fresh onion flavor.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 172.1
Calories From Fat (32%) - 54.89

Total Fat- 6.3g
Saturated Fat - 0.95g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 943.59mg
Potassium - 1005.88mg
Total Carbohydrates - 24.58g
Fiber - 7.41g
Sugar - 9.88g
Protein - 7.54g


This soup was a light and refreshing breakfast. I love that it is a huge amount of food for so few calories. The nutrition stats on this meal are amazing. Each serving contains more than 22,900IU of vitamin A, 100mg of vitamin C, 290mg of calcium, 170mcg of folate, 110mcg of vitamin K, and 180mg of phosphorus. No wonder Japanese people as so much healthier than Americans. What a healthy way to start your day. I think this may now be included in my regular breakfast rotation.


  1. What a healthy breakfast. I think miso soup is elegant. We used to have miso soup on the menu everyday at the vegetarian restaurant I used to work at...I was always surprised on how quickly it came together. We used to drop the miso into the water just before service began.

  2. Rose,

    Thanks. :) I was surprised by the nutritional stats on the soup.

    I love the idea of dropping the miso in just before serving. You answered my question of how to send this to lunch for the hubby.

    Do you remember any ingredients in the restaurant version of the soup that I should have included?


  3. As I remember,(this was 7 years ago)I think it was carrot and scallion chopped into pretty diagonal slices and dropped into hot water, with arame seaweed and some small tofu cubes. Then, chef would dunk in a ladle of miso paste and stirred it all up just before lunch service began.

    I don't have a clue if that's what goes into traditional miso soup, but I liked this version; I often had it on my lunch break.

  4. Your miso soup looks fantastic and it sounds so healthy. This is really my kind of food. I alwalys add miso paste in my veggie soup before serving without knowing that it's better not to cook miso paste. I'm so glad I've been doing the right thing, YAY! Thanks, Alicia:)

  5. Rose,

    I love the idea of tofu and seaweed. Thanks for the letting me know what the chef used to include. I just happen to have both in the house now. I can't wait to try those additions.

    talk to you soon,

  6. Oraphan,

    Thanks! :) Do you have any suggestions for what to add to the miso soup? Rose had some good ideas with tofu and arame.

    thanks again,

  7. Mmm,I love miso soup, shitakes and bok choy. Sounds and looks delicious. I also really like how you always provide the nutritional information. How do you do that with your own recipes? You must have some training in that area. Keep up the yummy posts!

  8. Michelle (blessedmama),


    The nutritional information is easy. I bought a cookbook program called "Living Cookbook". It was very inexpensive (somewhere in the neighborhood of $35). I input the ingredients and the program calculates the nutrition. It is a great program. Sometimes now I put the ingredients in before cooking and calculate the numbers and then change the ingredients to get the nutrition I want. I tend to micromanage our nutrition a little more than is probably necessary.


  9. Wow, we had miso soup yesterday too, it's so yummy! I like to add a little fresh spinach to mine.

  10. Janet,

    Thanks for the suggestion on the spinach in the miso soup. I almost always have fresh organic baby spinach in the house. I will try that addition when I make it again later this week.

    Have you ever tried kale in miso soup? I thought about it but decided it may take too long to cook in the soup.


  11. No, I haven't tried kale. But now that you mention it, it does sound good!

  12. Janet,

    When I try the kale idea I will let you know what we think of it.

    talk to you soon,

  13. Alicia,

    I usually put whatever kind of veggies I have on hand, button or shitake mushrooms, fresh or frozen spinach, chinese cabbage, green cabbage, green beans, carrots, etc.(and I put tofu most of the time).

  14. Oraphan,

    Thanks for letting me know what you include in your miso soup. I am always looking for new ideas.



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