How to Make Vegan Miso Soup that Will Soothe Your Soul

Vegan miso soup might just be the easiest comfort food. We'll show you how to make this simple, tasty dish in no time at all.

Nothing nourishes the soul like a hot bowl of soup, especially on rainy cold days when you find yourself needing a little pick-me-up. This healthy vegan miso soup is a quick and easy way to satisfy your comfort food cravings. Whether you make a batch to ward off winter chills or serve it up as a starter, we guarantee this recipe will be a big hit.

What is Miso?

For starters, what is miso? Miso is made from fermented soybeans, koji (a Japanese cultured grain) and salt. There are several different types of miso, but the best miso for miso soup is akamiso or red miso which is aged the longest and has the strongest flavor. That said, if you’re worried about your salt intake, low-sodium white miso also works beautifully as a miso soup base. You can pick miso up at natural food stores, Asian markets or on online.

The savory paste is also very healthy, especially when combined with the other nutritious ingredients—like the kind that goes into miso soup. Learn more about the health benefits of miso paste here.

All About Dashi for Vegans

The traditional miso soup you know and love from your local sushi joint uses dashi, a stock made from kelp and dried bonito which is a type of fish. This stock is responsible for lending that savory umami flavor to the broth. Fortunately, making a completely vegan version of miso soup is quite easy. You can rely on mushrooms to infuse your broth with a similar umami flavor.

Enoki mushrooms should be your first choice for this soup. These mild-tasting mushrooms have a delicate, almost sweet flavor that few can turn down. You can often find them at larger supermarkets or specialty stores. If you can’t find enoki, white mushrooms will do the trick.

How to Make Vegan Miso Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) fresh enoki mushrooms or 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup miso paste
  • 1 package (16 ounces) firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Thinly sliced green onions

Directions

Step 1: Start sauteeing

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and saute the mushrooms, onion, garlic and ginger until they become tender. Pour in the water and add the miso paste and allow it to come to a boil.

Step 2: Get simmering

Once the broth is boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes. Be sure to leave your Dutch oven uncovered.

Step 3: Time for tofu

Add in the tofu and continue simmering the broth until the tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: If you’re not a fan of tofu, you can substitute it for your favorite vegetables instead. Seaweed is a natural choice, but chard, leek, cabbage or even sweet potatoes make fantastic options.

Once you’ve mastered miso soup, why not try one of these other healthy soup recipes?

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.