How to Make Miso Soup: An Easy Miso Soup Recipe

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Like many Japanese dishes, miso soup starts with dashi, a simple broth of simmered kombu (an umami superstar among dried sea vegetables) and dried bonito flakes. To make the dashi into miso soup, you simply add a heaping spoonful of miso (a fermented soy—and sometimes rice or barley—product) and whatever vegetables, starches and proteins you like. 

How to Make Miso Soup Recipe | Umami Girl

If you’ve never cooked with these ingredients before, don’t be intimidated. The process is very simple, and the results are very good. You’ll often hear people who grew up eating Japanese food talk about miso soup as the ultimate comfort food. Although I didn’t grow up with it, I couldn’t agree more. It’s a wholesome, holistic take on comfort, one that soothes both with its deep, rich flavors and with its obvious nutritive benefits.


All the ingredients for dashi and miso soup are available at Whole Foods and through the Amazon links in the recipe.

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Miso Soup

Miso soup is easy and rewarding to make at home. You'll start by making dashi, the world's quickest broth. Then you'll strain it into a clean pot, add a few stellar ingredients, and have a nourishing, comforting bowl of miso soup in minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Serves 4



Make the dashi (broth)

  1. Place the kombu in a medium pot. You don’t need to rinse it, even if the package says you do. Pour in the water. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Bring the water with the kombu in it to a boil. When it boils, turn down the heat and let it simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and add the bonito flakes. Let steep for 10 minutes, then strain the broth through cheesecloth or a coffee strainer into a clean pot.

Make the miso soup

  1. Return strained broth to a low boil. Ladle out about a quarter cup of the broth into a small bowl and reserve.
  2. If you are adding any ingredients that need to cook for more than a minute or so (mushrooms, for example, could use about 5 minutes to simmer), add them now. When they are nearly done, add the diced tofu and any other ingredients, such as baby spinach, that need just a few seconds of cooking.
  3. Into the small bowl of reserved broth, whisk in the miso paste with a fork until there are no lumps. Pour the miso mixture into the pot and stir to combine. Remove from the heat after just a few seconds—miso does not like to be overcooked. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 61 Total Fat:: 2.5g Carbohydrates:: 5.4g Fiber:: 1.1g Protein:: 4.8g

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  1. I do believee all of the concepts you have presented on your post.
    They are very convincing and will defijnitely work. Still,the posts are too short for newbies.
    Could you please rolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you
    for the post.

  2. Henry

    Carolyn, love your “brief” to all of us….

    I think it interesting the apparent connection between the law and food – could it be the comonality of the torts? My son in law graduated from St Johns, majoring in history and Eng Lit, then planned to go the CIA and ultimately write about food – he’s quite amazing in both arenas.

    Funny thing though, a few years post grad, he decided to bail on all those plans, enrolled at Touro full time, with an infant and one on the way, and came out the other side another member of the bar.

    Interesting pattern, I just may have to ask my daughter, as sr majoring in lit and anthropology, and just threw on the poly sci minor for good measure this year….what this may all say about a new emerging culture.

    Most of my lawyer friends, and it’s scary how many I have, are mostly also musicians, hmm…. but they’re all my age, so maybe it’s a generational thing.

    AND……………..we are all like defendants here, awaiting a decision from our very own ALJ in the matter of The Pot!

  3. Thanks for all the great comments, everyone!

    Alison, I’ve noticed the same thing. The law-to-writing progression seems natural, but I’ve often wondered why the connection between law and cooking. It’s not just bloggers. Jeffrey Steingarten is a Harvard Law grad, Warren Brown (of Cake Love and Sugar Rush) was a lawyer, and several of the lawyers and staff at my former firm were former chefs, FCI grads, etc. (so the door swings both ways). Sorry you’re hating NYU. Feel free to email me if you want to talk.

    Henry, those photos are amazing. I’ve been wanting to try foraging for a few years but haven’t made it yet. Maybe this year!

    Caroline, bonito flakes are definitely worth the trouble. I don’t see a problem with eating the kombu, though, other than possibly passing out from joy. That could cut into your evening I guess.

    Anu, I love garlic soup but have never tried Julia’s. Richard Olney’s recipe, which I found on 101 Cookbooks, is excellent, but there is—alas—no final liaison.

    Jackie, thank you, you’re so sweet. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

    Erica, I love Jerusalem artichokes and will try not to hold it against you that your farm is already giving you anything at all. Expect a recipe!

    Stephen, that is a lovely story. I seriously hope you are planning to write something more than legal briefs at some point soon. Oh, and I’d like to edit the manuscript, please.

  4. Henry Doll

    c’mon….how do you compete with that one?
    (little dubious of the sheep though)

    OK, this is becoming too much fun, you should let this run for a while…. can we go in the direction of creative novella writtings?

  5. Stephen Zaklukiewicz

    I for several months stayed at a friend’s farmhouse in the west of Scotland near the Firth of Clyde in the early 90s. It was a wonderful place, windswept and wild. My host, a recent widow in her mid 60s, still ran the farm, rearing sheep for the weaver as well as the butcher. I had some experience farming and I was happy to offer my labor. Despite being weary from what seemed like endless toil, she would find the time to prepare incredibly simple meals at the end of each day. One that remains with me is a fresh lamb stew with barley, carrot and potato simmered on stovetop in a simple, timeless and dented copper pot. I would like to take a shot at preparing that meal, replete with stories of the Picts, King Andrew’s Cross and Angus MacFergus, should I be so lucky to win your pot!

  6. erica

    Tried your recipe in my old le creuset and it was awesome. But my food share keeps giving me Jerusalem artichokes, in case you need ideas for future posts! In terms of your pot, one could do worse than to make risotto from freshly picked wild mushrooms or else plantain soup.

  7. Jessica Kemp

    Oh man – the first thing I would do is make a coq au vin. Holy cow – I would LOVE this pot.

  8. Hm. Depending on the size, two things come immediately to mind: polenta, and chicken-in-a-pot (or “poule en cocotte”, if you’re feeling French and fancy). Both are great classic comfort foods, the kind of thing that holds families together, and seems to befit a storied treasure like this.

    Plus, if I do polenta? I love the challenge of cleaning pots, yessir… 😉

  9. christina manzur

    Lovely post! I think I’d make a spanish lentil soup first…and your miso recipe second!

  10. I’ll have a boeuf bourguignon showdown using Julia Child and Thomas Keller’s recipes. I think it just seems fitting to cook something so close to my heart as an appreciation for this lovely pot.

  11. I’d probably make miso soup, because for starters, I’m always making miso soup, and because it just seems like a good idea for its new owner to carry on its history. Then I’d probably do a follow-up with some coconut rice pudding. Can’t break in a new pot without dessert!

  12. I would work my way through Anna Thomas’ “Love Soup” cookbook with this pot.

  13. alice

    I made an okra stew for the first time recently. It was awesome, and gone way too fast, so I’m dying to try it again — given the proper pot and some decent okra at the market! 😉

  14. Nick Neville

    My Daughter is coming home from college for a visit in three weeks. I would make her favorite Fettuccine Alfredo with crawfish tails. Sometimes I eat red Miso paste right out of the container, its good.
    Take Care

  15. Daphne

    Carolyn – What a beautiful pot – and, yes, I hang my head in shame for the 3 plus copper pots that need to be “refurbished” that are sitting in between our baskets of recycling – they are neither freecycled or recycled – or even cycled – they are stuck – but perhaps you have inspired some fresh movement. See moving isn’t such a bad idea 🙂

  16. I’d probably make a potato leek soup. For some reason I always think of copper pots when making anything with leeks.

  17. Amy

    What a great idea for a giveaway! I would want to make a hearty chili as a last shout-out to winter :).

  18. Rona

    What a lovely and generous gesture. Chicken soup would probably be the first thing I’d make but would love to try your miso recipe as it sounds so simple and delicious. Good luck to everyone and thank you.

  19. Jaz

    I would make my Popo’s Jook.

  20. Christine

    What a simple yet beautiful pot. How could you part with it? When I first skimmed the recipe the pot caught my eye, and when I read the post about the giveaway, I swooned just a little. I try to live simply (and you’re right – there’s nothing like a move to realize how much stuff you don’t need!) but a pot like this would have a place of honor in my kitchen. I’d make a luscious cream of mushroom soup…
    Oh, and I can’t wait to make miso this week – I’ve actually been trolling for a miso soup recipe, and it’s surprisingly hard to find one that uses the kombu and bonito. Thanks!

  21. Gosh, it’s so beautiful. I’m usually the type that makes a thick soup but that pot calls for a nice clear broth. I’d probably take a stab at Italian wedding soup, which though I never had in Italy, was a favorite of mine growing up, and the idea of which still makes my mouth water. What a sweet and thoughtful giveaway!

  22. Lynda

    What a beautiful pot, pleasing to the eye and inviting me to make my delicious carrot soup recipe. Thank you, Carolyn, for the sentimental giveaway!

  23. Henry

    Btw… as for the pot, I’m thinking Cassoulet or Paella, since the covered, all copper vessel would be perfect for cooking dishes traditionally intened to be oven-cooked with as even a surrounding heat source as possible.

    ….can’t wait!

  24. It’s so much fun to read your posts. Personality and wit really shine through.
    I’m not sucking up; I know the pot winner will be chosen at random! 🙂
    Although I would love to own this pot. I’m getting married this summer and fiancee is big on “we don’t need any more possessions” so a culinary tools-filled wedding registry isn’t appearing on my horizon. Not that that’s a bad thing.
    Anyway, 1st soup to make: definitely this miso soup. Have never made it before, and I can’t begin to think why not! Actually, I can. All of the kombu-dashi-bonito talk scared me a little. But you make it sound super approachable. Thank you!

  25. Wow! This is absolutely gorgeous and well made.

  26. Lindsay

    I made miso soup last week and my recipe is nearly identical to yours! So I would make a butternut squash soup black bean soup as my first batch in that beautiful pot.

  27. Laurie

    So many ideas, but I would have to try your miso recipe. Not inventive on my part but probably very healing for my family

  28. Beth G

    I would definitely make a batch of sweet potato soup in that gorgeous pot. I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while and this would give me a good reason :o)

  29. What a beautiful pot. I’ve never had a copper pot. I would make Julia’s “Aigo Bouido” (Garlic Soup). Just got the book “the way to cook” from the library and I really want to try this soup. How can you resist a recipe that has “final liaison” as one of the steps in the ingredient list 🙂 Thank you for having the giveaway.

  30. Caroline

    I would make this soup, of course! It’s so much more elegant than my version, which involves eating the kombu and has never been organized enough to actually have bonito flakes.

  31. slammie

    Hmmmm, hard to tell how big it is but I’m looking for a new pot to cook oxtails in….

  32. Henry

    …Carolyn, you just crack me up lady!

    I worship the schroom in all it’s forms! ha…. My tribe of friends love hunting and gathering, but I’m the only shooter… so check out just a few of my finds:
    …mostly taken in ME.

    Have you ever had: trompette de la mort ? …amazing how something so unappealing in appearance could taste so good!

    Also, my folks met in their journalism class at NYU, after the ‘big one’; dad saw her and said, “I’m going to marry that girl”; three dates later, they were engaged. Had their reception at T on the G – back in the day. Mom was 82 yesterday, and still a rock’n. So, some good came out NYU!

  33. Sarah

    great post! 🙂

    there are so many things that come to mind when i think about what i’d like to make using that lovely pot, but first, i’d probably try my hand at french onion soup – something i’ve been meaning to make at home for a long time now…

  34. Elise

    I haven’t made a batch of Beef Bourguignon in years, and I mean YEARS, so that’s the first recipe I’d make using that wonderful pot.

    Thanks for a great (as usual) post.

  35. maggie

    I think we’re not going to move just to avoid that emptying-out-the-closet thing.

  36. Jill

    Fantastic post, “Lady from Freecycle!” LOVE Miso soup, but have never attempted to make my own… I just may need to try…

  37. I try my very first attempt at home-made pho… something that has been on my to-cook list, but never risen to the top.

    Also is it just me, or are there a lot of dissatisfied law school grads who have cooking blogs? (I noticed you graduated from Columbia, Amateur Gourmet went to Emory Law and this my second year currently hating NYU.