I love mushrooms, and shiitake happen to be my very favorite! This Shiitake Miso Soup offers a delicious and amazingly healthy combination of mushrooms, tofu, miso, seaweed, and vegetables.
Miso, also known as soybean paste, is a traditional Japanese food. It is most commonly used for making miso soup. This recipe uses white miso which has a mellow, slightly sweet flavor.
Nutrition in Shiitake Mushrooms
The Chinese have used the shiitake mushroom for medicinal purposes for over 6,000 years. It is the second most commonly cultivated mushroom in the world and is a symbol of longevity in Asia.
The American Cancer Society notes that shitake mushrooms seem to have some anti-tumor effect on lab animals but adds that further studies are needed to determine their use in humans.
The organization notes that these effects may come from the mushroom’s ability to boost the immune system. They contain a compound called lentinan, which has been shown to strengthen the immune system’s ability to fight infection and disease.
The American Cancer Society says that lentinan can actually reduce and slow the growth of cancer cells while increasing activity to combat tumors by activating certain cells and proteins that attack cancer.” —Live Strong
The shiitake mushrooms in this soup add vitamin D, an important nutrient for cancer prevention.
A great place to purchase mushrooms is at your local Asian grocery store. I will admit, it can be a little overwhelming to step into a place that is full of unfamiliar sights, smells, and sounds, but that is part of the fun of shopping at Asian grocery markets for plant-based friendly foods.
By shopping smart, you can save a lot of money on spices, mushrooms, and other items. I find great deals on rice noodles, rice wraps, sauces, rice vinegar, dried mushrooms, spices, and even produce.
This is a 4-minute tour of an Indian market that I shop at often in South Carolina. As you will see, the owner even showed us how they make sugar cane juice with lime and ginger in India.
Nearly all of the ingredients needed for this Shiitake Miso Soup can be found at your local Asian market, and for a much cheaper price than shopping at specialty stores.
Nutritional information: 92 calories, 2.8 g fat, 5.4 g protein, 2.8 g fiber
Recipe from The Cancer Survivors Guide by Dr. Neal Barnard.
Other Great Soup Recipes:
- 5 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms (dried or fresh)
- 1 pkg silken tofu
- 1 sheet nori
- 2-3 tsp ginger peeled and grated
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup carrots julienned or grated
- 3-4 Tbsp white miso
- salt, to taste if needed
Pour veggie broth into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the dried mushrooms, cover, and let stand 20 minutes, or until mushrooms have softened. If using fresh mushrooms, you can skip this soaking part.
Remove the re-hydrated mushrooms from broth with slotted spoon. Cut off and discard the mushroom stems. Thinly slice the caps and set aside.
Slice broccoli into small florets and grate carrots.
Slice tofu into 1/4" cubes. Cut nori sheet into 1" squares using scissors. Helpful hint: if your nori has become softened over time and needs to be crisped back up, simply hold sheet over the heat of a stove eye or a toaster for about 30 seconds. It will become crunch and crisp again!
Add tofu, nori, and ginger to the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, broccoli, and carrots. Cover and simmer for 1 minute, just until the broccoli turns bright green.
Miso is a traditional Japanese food and can be found in natural food stores and Asian markets. It is commonly called soybean paste and has a mellow, slightly sweet flavor.
Transfer 1 cup of the broth to a bowl.
Stir in the miso with a fork until it is completely dissolved. Pour the dissolved miso into the soup and stir until it is well incorporated.
Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, it will keep up to 1 week.
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