Classic Miso Soup with Variations

Recipe Information

Total Time: 

20 minutes if using stock; 40 minutes if making dashi


4 as main course

Sushi has a strong following in America, but Japan's most popular soup, Miso Soup, has gotten far less attention. And that's a shame because this simple, delicious and versatile soup has so much to offer.


  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red miso, or more
  • 6 ounces silken tofu, firm, 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 scallion, slivered
  • 7-8 cups dashi* or soup stock of your choice


  • 2 ounces kombu (kelp)
  • 2 quarts spring water
  • 2 ounces bonito shavings (fish flakes)
  • coffee filter or cheesecloth


For Dashi

Don't wash kombu---the white dusting of sea salt is part of the seasoning. Put kombu and water in a medium saucepan and set heat to medium-low. Heat for about 10 minutes, just to the boiling point. Remove from heat and remove kombu. Add bonito and steep for 1 minute. Strain through coffee filter or 3 layers of cheesecloth. Makes about 7-8 cups.

For Soup

Heat dashi or stock in a large pot. Add carrot and bring to a boil, cook until the carrot is tender. Ladle a bit of hot stock into a small bowl and mix well with miso. Stir miso into soup, take off the heat and add tofu. Serve with scallions on each serving.


Instead of making dashi, use 8 cups boxed chicken or vegetable stock, preferably low-sodium (the miso is salty enough).

  1. Simmer 8-12 ounces of diced chicken in the stock with the carrots, cook 4 ounces of egg noodles for a chicken noodle miso soup.
  2. Simmer 4 cups mixed vegetables in the stock until cooked, then proceed with miso for a miso vegetable soup.
  3. Simmer 16 large shrimp and a big red bell pepper, add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy shrimp miso soup.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 196, Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 9 mg, Sodium: 1349 mg, Carbohydrate: 17 g, Dietary Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 19 g