This is a quick and easy Japanese vegetable miso soup recipe. It's made both completely vegetarian and vegan and filled with plenty of vegetables including shiitake mushrooms, leek, tomatoes, green onions (scallions) and tofu, along with the usual Japanese miso soup ingredients, including sesame oil, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and, of course, miso! See also: More meat-free Japanese-inspired meals
Even though it's filled with veggies, this is still a very light soup, so it makes a good starter or a warming afternoon snack, or, if you wanted to make it more of a meal, you could round it out with some Asian noodles. Either soba or udon noodles would be best, or even ramen-style noodles, to keep it Japanese themed. I confess that I actually like to eat miso soup for breakfast, though I'm sure that's not traditional...
See also: More vegetarian soup recipes
In a large pot, sautee the tomatoes, leek and mushroom for 1-3 minutes just to give them a head start.
Add the vegetable broth and seaweed and bring to a slow simmer. Add the tofu, the soy sauce (or the gluten-free tamari or Nama Shoyu if you're doing the gluten-free version), and the miso and scallions and reduce the heat to low.
Stir well to dissolve and mix the miso.
Allow to cook for at least 8 more minutes over low heat.
Recipe note: Miso shouldn't ever be boiled, just gently heated, in order to preserve its healthy probiotic and fermented properties, so make sure that your soup is gently heating and not simmering.
Enjoy your homemade Japanese vegetable soup!
How to make this recipe gluten-free: This recipe as is is both vegetarian and vegan. Need it to be gluten-free too? First, check your miso, as some kinds are made with added grains, such as barley miso, for example, which are definitely not gluten-free, though a traditional miso is made with soy beans and is safe for gluten sensitivities. Next, check your vegetable broth. Most store-bought brands contain gluten, unless they're specifically labeled as gluten-free, so read the label, or make your own homemade vegetable broth. And finally, you'll have to swap out the soy sauce for a gluten-free substitute. Normally, I recommend either Bragg's liquid aminos, coconut aminos, tamari or Nama Shoyu interchangeably, but in this miso soup, you'll want the stronger flavors of the tamari or the Nama Shoyu sauce.