Sunday, December 27, 2009

Miso Soup with Dried Mushrooms and Red Bell Pepper

As the hubby and I have cleaned up our diet I find myself wanting very different things for breakfast. Miso soup now one of our favorite breakfasts. I know it seems odd to most people but it is a traditional Japanese breakfast, from what I am told.

Miso soup is normally light and wouldn’t stand up as a complete meal. I add other things to the soup to make it a substantial breakfast. My hubby loves mushrooms so I like to include them in the miso. Not only do mushrooms taste good but they are also very healthy food. The consumption of mushrooms is associated with a robust immune system. Mushrooms contain lentinian that is shown to directly stimulate the immune system. The activation of the immune system slows tumor growth. In Japan, hospitals are now including mushrooms and mushroom extracts for cancer patients on chemotherapy. Earlier this year a study showed that women who ate mushrooms (fresh or dry) had a lower incidence of breast cancer.

I added red bell pepper as a garnish and for additional nutrition. When you add your miso be sure to do so off the heat as prolonged exposure to heat will kill the B12 that is present in miso. Toasted sesame is optional in this soup but adds a wonderful aroma that I like to include occasionally.

Miso Soup with Dried Mushrooms and Red Bell Pepper
Servings 2


1 cup mixed dried mushrooms
8 cups filtered water
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
½ inch fresh ginger, thinly julienned
12.3 ounces firm organic silken tofu, cut into ¼ inch cubes
2 tablespoons yellow miso
½ cup red bell pepper, cut into thin strips approximately 1 inch long
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil, optional but recommended


Combine the mushrooms and water and microwave on high until the water begins to boil (3 minutes in my microwave). Allow the mushrooms to sit in the water for 20 minutes so they can rehydrate.

After 20 minutes strain the mushroom liquid into a soup pot through a fine wire mesh strainer lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth or a damp paper towel. Dice the mushrooms into pieces that will easily fit on a spoon and add to the pot with the soaking liquid.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pot and simmer until tender. Add the tofu cubes and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow the soup to cool a couple of minutes.

Place the miso in a small mixing bowl and stir in a ½ cup of the soup liquid. Whisk to dissolve the miso. Stir the thinned miso into the soup pot. Add the red bell pepper to the soup and stir.

Serve the soup and top with green onion and a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

Nutritional Information (includes optional sesame oil):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 299.54
Calories From Fat (22%) - 65.7

Total Fat - 7.41g
Saturated Fat - 1.1g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 741.45mg
Potassium - 1048.33mg
Total Carbohydrates - 44.86g
Fiber - 7.09g
Sugar - 4.55g
Protein - 18.78g


Both Dan and I enjoy miso soup so I like to make a couple of times a week. This version is much more substantial than the traditional versions. I find it keeps me satisfied for a good 4 or 5 hours. I like the protein content on this low calorie meal. Each serving of this soup contains approximately 800IU of vitamin A, 120mg of calcium, 80mcg of folate, 200mg of phosphorus, and 70mg of magnesium. Not too shabby for just under 300 calories.

Unrelated comments:

I am going to try to get another couple of recipes posted tonight from the last few days. Other than that it is going to be a relaxing evening at our house.


  1. Yum. I love pretty much all mushrooms. I still need to pick up some miso. You keep reminding me that I like it!

  2. Heather,

    I love miso, and it is so good for you too. We have gone through two tubs of miso this month alone.


  3. This sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it when I run out of the current collection of soups in my refrigerator/freezer. Yay!

  4. Roja,

    It is soup weather, isn't it? We have a collection of various soups at our house now too.

    I hope you like the recipe as much as we did.


  5. Oh, that miso soup looks and sounds absolutely delicious! I can hear it's calling my name, it's really my kind of food and I can eat it for breakfast too, YUM!

  6. Been wanting to make Miso soup so thanks for posting this. GOOD IDEA as am trying to find different breakfast than cereal. My ole immune system needs lots of help. AND I LOVE Mushrooms.

  7. Hawk Lady,

    My Japanese friend got me started on Miso soup for breakfast. It is one of my favorites now. I love starting the day with veggies. ;-)

    If you search Miso soup on my blog you will find a few recipes for it. I love it and make it often. I hope you like it too.



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