Double Mushroom Miso Soup and Sesame Broccoli

by on October 27, 2007
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When my husband is out of town, I often let our daughter E pick what we’ll have for dinner. Almost always her first pick is lasagna, followed by peanut butter noodles or macaroni and “cheese.” The girl loves her pasta. Recently, however, I was thrilled when she told me what she wanted: Miso soup. Actually, what she said was, “I want a soup that’s warm and brothy, mostly liquid, not all thick and full of stuff like most of your soups are, Mom.”

She had me there. Usually when I make soup, I cram in veggies and beans and potatoes to make it a one-pot meal. I am, as I’ve said before, basically a lazy cook, and if I can get away with making only one dish for dinner, I’ll take the easy way almost every time.

But I can do brothy, if that’s what she wants; after all, brothy is easy, too. E’s crazy about miso soup, so that’s what we settled on, with silken tofu just like her favorite Japanese restaurant does it. Of course I had to add a little extra something-something: mushrooms-mushrooms. I adore the earthy flavor that shiitakes contribute to miso soup, and I tossed in a few white mushrooms for good measure. And you know what? We each ate three bowls. Because that’s the kind of thing we can get away with when her father is away!

Double Mushroom Miso Soup

Double Mushroom Miso Soup

(printer-friendly version)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I used No-chicken Broth)
  • 1/2 cup (.35 ounce) dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon dried shredded wakame (optional, but good)
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 carton (about 6 ounces) firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used Mori-nu Lite)
  • 2-3 tablespoons white miso

Instructions

  1. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the dried mushrooms and seaweed. (If you are using whole dried mushrooms, add them now, let them soften, and remove them and slice before adding back to the pan with the other ingredients.) Simmer until mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the button mushrooms and silken tofu and simmer until the mushrooms are tender. Ladle out about 1/2 cup of the broth and stir it into 2 tablespoons of the miso. Mix until smooth and add to the pot. Taste, and if more miso is needed, repeat the process with another tablespoon of miso.
  3. Allow the soup to simmer for about 5 more minutes without boiling and serve.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Nutrition Facts

This makes about 6 large bowls or 8 smaller ones. Based on 6 servings, each bowl provides 38 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (11% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 705mg Sodium; 1g Fiber.


Along with the soup, we enjoyed Sesame Broccoli. This isn’t so much a recipe as a cooking technique:

Double Mushroom Miso Soup with Sesame Broccoli

Sesame Broccoli for Two

(printer-friendly version)

I’m always surprised when people tell me they never use the broccoli stems. Don’t throw them away! They’re loaded with nutrients and flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 large stalks broccoli, cut into florets and stems peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon additional sesame oil
  • additional water as needed
  • sesame seeds for serving

Instructions

  1. First prepare the broccoli by cutting off the florets and dividing them into bite-sized pieces. Then chop the smaller stems into little chunks. Cut off and discard the bottom tough part of the broccoli stalk–about 1/2 to 1-inch, depending on the broccoli. Stand the stalk up on end and trim off the tough outer skin with a sharp knife (or just use a peeler). Slice the stalk into diagonal slices, about 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Have about 1/2 cup of water ready by your stove. Using a wok or non-stick skillet that has a cover, put the sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of water into the pan, and heat it until it begins sizzling. Add the ginger and stir for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and, if the pan is dry, another 2 tbsp. of water. Stir quickly and cover. Cook for one minute.
  3. Remove the cover and stir. Add another splash of water and cover again. Cook for one minute.
  4. Repeat the process of stirring and adding a splash of water one more time. Check the broccoli, and if it is bright green yet becoming tender, it is done. If you want your broccoli more tender, repeat the process until it’s how you like it. When it’s done, add another tablespoon of water, the soy sauce, and the 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil. Toss well and serve immediately, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 6 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Nutrition Facts

Makes 2 servings, each providing 102 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (19% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 254mg Sodium; 9g Fiber.


This made an excellent light meal for me, but it was a little too light for E. After eating 3 bowls of soup and more than her share of the broccoli, she made herself a bowl of cereal. In retrospect, I should have included a grain or starchy vegetable with this meal, so I suggest you try it paired with some rice, noodles, or roasted winter squash.

If you’re more interested in thick and hearty soups than thin and brothy ones, here are a few of my favorite one-pot meal soups:


Thanks for all your kind words and congratulations on the VegNews news. I still haven’t managed to get a copy of the magazine, so I’ll just have to take your word for itbut at least now it’s on their website!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bridget January 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I made this soup tonight with a couple of alterations – I used portabella and cremini mushrooms and used kale instead of wakame. It was delicious!

Reply

2 Alexia @ Dimple Snatcher February 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Oooo Kale! Great idea :))) Thanks, Bridget!

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3 Laura October 1, 2010 at 10:59 am

I make 1 pot meal miso soup often, you just have to throw “authentic” out the window. I put in a ton of shredded veggies (carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, daikon) and add either cooked rice noodles or brown rice and serve it in one of those giant bowls they sell at the asian food market. I leave most of the veggies raw and just pour hot broth over them in the bowl so they’re nice and crisp.

I was trying to figure out how to make this meal more company worthy and will be adding your sesame broccoli to it this weekend. It looks delicious!

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4 Tirza October 3, 2010 at 11:41 am

Hi!
I’ve been really enjoying your site and have been using the recipes with excellent results! Thanks for all the hard work and dedication that goes into making this available to us all!

I especially love miso soup. I am a non-typical Orthodox Jew who does not want to eat animal products. Of course that cuts out a lot of traditional Jewish Shabbat and Holiday food. Like chicken soup. We have found miso soup to be a perfectly wonderful substitute. I checked with my Rabbi about the finer points of preparing of miso properly for Shabbat consumption and to avoid losing nutrients by boiling the miso over-long etc., and though he found my request a little unusual, he gave me full approval for my method. Yay! :-)

On another front, I need to avoid eating a lot of soy (because of the suspected estrogen-like effect) which is sad, because tofu has been a real mainstay for me for years :-( I hear that soy products if fermented are okay, such as miso, tempeh and fermented soy sauce. But losing tofu altogether … eek … I hardly knew how I would get along without it! I do succumb to it now and then, but have lately been making an adaptation of an old vegan standby – a cashew-pimento-sesame “cheese” that I have made for years, thickened with agar-agar which results in a firm, smooth, slice-able product. That old recipe did call for added oil, but I see no reason to add that. The nuts have enough fat. Since tofu is so bland on its own, I use the method with cashew or almond milk, agar, a little lemon and salt…voila! Another soy-less tofu!

I have also discovered that adding soaked chia seeds to a nut milk and blending in a high speed blender can result in a similar product.

I just saw a comment that chia is the “new tofu”. Maybe – and with a LOT less work than I used to go to making it from scratch with soybeans and nigari.

And yes, with these methods you can now avoid that “raw soybean” taste that may be detectable in tofu and which some find less than appealing.

It’s so fun playing with this stuff. We keep discovering more and more new methods that are developed to accommodate and enhance vegan cooking or un-cooking. Of course one has to realize that look-alike and act-alike recipes which substitute for old favorites may not have the same nutritional content. So we may have to ensure that we get enough of the desired nutrient somewhere else – but that usually isn’t too much of a problem with the variety we can access nowadays.

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5 Katie December 10, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I made this miso soup last night and it was fantastic! It is by far the best I have ever made, and possibly the best I have ever had. I served it with inari sushi. Yum! I love the mushrooms in it as well…although next time I may leave out the dried shiitakes and just add a little more white mushrooms. Thanks!

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6 Joanne January 9, 2011 at 3:49 am

I forgot the mushrooms and couldn’t find broccoli in the supermarket (where did it go?!) but loved it simply with the seaweed and tofu anyway :) I couldn’t manage to shred the seaweed I bought as it was too thick but tearing it into large chunks worked too. I substituted the broccoli with Chinese broccoli (I think that’s what it was) blanched and served with oyster sauce which was delicious. I found this surprisingly filling but I think that’s because of the hot weather in Sydney at the moment.

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7 KBeane June 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I made the miso soup for the second time this week and used fresh shiitakes and added vermicelli to make it a bit more filling. Served with sauteed collard greens. So good and healthy!

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8 Patricia Stephenson October 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Is there an alternative to miso? I live in a very small town and can’t get miso for 100 miles.

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9 SusanV October 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm

It won’t taste exactly the same, but you can make a very nice soup by adding vegetable bouillon to taste instead of the miso. Also, if you have it, a little nutritional yeast would also deepen the flavor. One more idea, onion powder and some garlic could be added to taste.

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10 Sue baker August 6, 2012 at 11:54 am

What do you all do with the 1/2 package of tofu that is left over?

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11 Diana August 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm

It’s funny that you had this on the website because I had been having this when I was growing up. My dad adds the Chinese vegetables like Bok choy or Chinese broccoli and/or dried seaweeds, and it becomes a side dish for us, kids. When my dad’s not home, my mother adds noodles into the soup to make it a complete meal, so we have tofu, mushrooms, Chinese vegetables, and noodles. I didn’t realize that we, as a family, have been partially vegan eaters since my childhood.

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12 Michelle March 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm

I made this for our vegan potluck group tonight. I added a bit of fresh ginger and some napa cabbage. Everyone RAVED!! What a simple, wholesome, keeper of a recipe. Thank you!

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