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Immune-Building Miso Soup with Tofu

This image courtesy of Glenn Scott Photography

Miso soup is a vital component of Japanese diets. Made from fermented soybeans, it’s like chicken soup for the Japanese soul (but without the chicken). Through fermentation, the friendly flora break down soy’s medicinal compounds-daidzein and genistein which function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances in the body. Miso also contains protein, fiber, tryptophan, manganese, vitamin K, and zinc. And it tastes delicious, too!

4 cups (946 ml)

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of Dishhot soup, soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (1.3 g) dried seaweed (wakame works well)
  • 4 cups (946 ml) dashi, chicken, vegetable, or fish stock
  • 1/4 cup (64 g) miso paste (any color)
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup (35 g) sliced shiitake or enoki mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup (11 5 g) cubed, organic firm silken tofu

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, soak the seaweed in water for 10 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the dashi or stock just to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons (32 g) of the miso paste until it is fully dissolved, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons (32 g) and dissolve. Dress with scallions, mushrooms, and tofu. Serve immediately.

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According to Livestrong.com “the recommendation for sodium intake is less than 2,300 mg/day for adults. This equals about one teaspoon of table salt. Most people consume far too much sodium through processed foods and table salt, therefore, this recommendation is set at an upper limit. Special populations including those diagnosed with high blood pressure or at risk for high blood pressure should limit sodium consumption to 1,500 mg/day. The minimum requirement of sodium for normal body function is about 500 mg/day.” 1 Cup of Swanson’s Unsalted Cooking Chicken contains 130mg. 1 Cup of Swanson’s 33% Less-Sodium Fat Free Chicken Broth contains 570 mgs. Of sodium. A 1 tbsp. serving of red miso paste contains 618 mg of sodium, and a tbsp. of white miso paste contains even more, with 880 mg. But, think about this from Geoffrey Harris, MD at SuperFoodsRx.com, "Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. They are a good source of B-vitamins (riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin), iron, and selenium. Mushrooms are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium (a 3 ounce portabello cap has more potassium than a banana). Furthermore, they have essentially no fat and no cholesterol. Mushrooms are an excellent addition to any meal due to their rich, earthy taste." So, consider the possibilities of stock made from dried or not dried mushrooms, which would cut the sodium and deepen the flavor of your broth. It is easy to add water to reduce flavor intensity. You could do this with lemongrass! The world is wondrous large when it comes to sodium reduction and getting in all that miso goodness.

Dear @pjbeim, thanks so much for your feedback. You make a good point about the sodium content! Much of it depends on what kind of stock you're using. You could use a low-sodium stock for a lower sodium content outcome. All best, Kara Rota Editorial Director

the recipe is great BUT you cannot have 1000mgs of sodium and call something healthy. Especially integrated into the american diet. Not to mention the fact if someone was to have 3-4 cups of this over a day. The nutrients are great but the salt content is a major problem.

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