This simple soup recipe is one that you'll make on weeknights when you come home and realize that although you are starving and craving something healthy, you have totally forgotten to plan for dinner. Which is to say that it is incredibly versatile and there are endless variations. (The biggest trick here is to have the miso in your fridge waiting for such an occasion.) I've written my favorite everyday variation here, which includes baby bok choy, scallions, and tofu, but you can experiment and use whatever greens you have on hand. And if you're feeling like eating A LOT of veggies in your miso like I do sometimes, you can get crazy with Loaded Miso Soup. Serve with rice on the side or stir rice noodles right into the soup.
Dashi is the traditional stock used in miso soup; it is prepared using tuna flakes, kombu, and water, and you can find it in liquid and dried forms at Asian markets. For vegetarian and vegan variations, simply use a vegetable stock, and if you're not vegetarian and do not have an Asian market nearby, feel free to substitute a chicken stock for the dashi.
Note: This recipe as written is suitable for dairy-free, gluten-free, and wheat-free diets, but as for any recipe that's intended for allergies, be sure to read labels to make sure no dairy-derived ingredients or other ingredients that are not in line with your diet are present.
Where can I find miso? Good question! It's actually widely accessible these days, at major grocery chains, Asian markets, and specialty and health stores alike. In major groceries and health food markets, it is usually found in the refrigerated section near the other tofu products.
- In a large saucepan or stock pot, bring the dashi or stock to a simmer over medium-high heat but do not boil. Combine the white and red miso in a small dish, then add 1 1/2 cups of the hot dashi and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Simmer the dashi for 5 minutes more. Gently stir in the tofu and simmer for another 5 minutes. (Again: do not boil!) Add the baby bok choy, scallions, and miso mixture, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the bok choy is slightly wilted but still bright green.
- Serve immediately while hot, taking care to stir before serving as the miso will settle.