There is nothing more deliciously sublime than a bowl of real, MSG-free miso soup.  Thanks to recent commenter, Jen, who urged me to share this recipe that has become a staple in our weekly menu.

Miso soup combines the best of traditional food with the conveniences of modern living. It’s a thrifty, fast food, even with the initial investment in good-quality miso! It’s a must for busy folks who are looking for an amazing nourishing lunch that is nutrient-dense, healthy, quick, and cheap. 

Unlike powdered packets of “instant miso soup” you may find in grocery stores, real miso soup is made with live, cultured, enzyme and probiotic-rich miso paste and nourishing, nutrient-rich bone broth.  That alone is enough reason to consume it regularly; but add to the mix dried sea veggies as well as carrots, cabbage, shittake mushrooms (an extravagant add-in, I know!) and scallions and you have yourself a healthy feast!

My formerly junkfood-addicted husband is now addicted to Miso Soup and makes it for himself anytime he’s home for lunch!  The fact that my husband is able to make this on his own is also a testimony to how easy it is to make.

When it comes to the brand of miso I use, I stick with Miso Master.  I get nothing from this company for promoting their product, so here’s some free advertising. Take a browse at their selection of misos and read about their intense, traditional process of making miso here. 

I LOVE this brand because they are the only brand I’ve found that actually makes gluten-free and soy-free misos.  Instead of using barley, they have some misos that use only brown rice and one that uses chickpeas in place of soybeans.  I personally use the chickpea miso, but I’m actually not concerned about the soy or the barley in the miso because this company prepares their miso in a traditional way, such that any anti-nutrients are inactivated by the fermentation process. Best of all, they are a GMO-free company!  Kudos to you, Miso Master!!!!

Why Miso? 

In addition to containing the mineral-rich bone broth, miso soup contains properties that have been said to inhibit the growths of cancerous tumors, and research also suggests that eating one bowl of miso soup per day can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer!  [source]

Oh, and did I mention it’s just plain tasty?!?!?  Yes, even my children love it!

The variations are endless, but here’s the basic recipe with notes and variations to follow:

  • 4 cups stock (vegetable/shrimp/chicken/beef)  ($0.50)
  • 2cups leafy greens, sliced thinly (such as spinach, kale, cabbage, or watercress) ($0.50)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced ($0.10)
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced (optional) ($0.10)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Arame or Wakame sea vegetable ($0.75)
  • 3 level Tbsp MisoMaster® Organic Red Miso (or any one of their excellent options) ($0.70)
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped, for garnish ($0.10)
  • Grand Total: $2.75 (or less, if you use garden-fresh veggies!)

    The Process:

    1) Bring the stock to a boil and add your veggies, both sea and land, along with the fresh ginger and garlic.  Cook until the veggies are tender, about 5-10 minutes depending upon the type.

    2) Ladle out about 1/2 cup of the broth into a separate bowl.  Mix miso paste with the broth thoroughly to dissolve the paste.  Add the broth back to the pan and stir to distribute.

    3) Garnish with green onions and serve!

    Optional Add-Ons:

    • For more protien, add some leftover chicken, shrimp, or scallops.
    • Shredded carrots are a nice addition as well.
    • For a “miso noodle” soup sans carbs and grains, add a handful of Kelp Noodles for texture and fun!
    • To give the miso soup some “kick” add some red pepper flakes and a few more cloves of garlic.

    Really, the only essential is the miso paste and the stock, the rest is up to you! The most thrifty mode, as always, is to “use what you have on hand” , but do head out to your nearest health food store and pick up some Miso Master because it really is worth every penny, and goes a LONG way.

    But before you head for the store, go check out what other Real Foodies are blogging about for Real Food Wednesday!

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    10 Responses to “Real-Fast-Nourishing: Miso Soup”

    1. sara Identicon sara says:

      i just want to mention South River Miso company for those of you who live in the east or midwest (I think they do ship west too). They are awesome and their miso comes in glass jars. Nice bonus!
      I also love miso with raw zucchini “noodles”!
      My kids also love miso soup! It really does hit the spot!

    2. Thanks for sharing this! I really like miso soup as well and Miso Master is our favorite brand too. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe!

    3. Jen Identicon Jen says:

      Thank you so much Carrie!! :) This does sound good. I have South River Miso, which is also organic and traditionally prepared.

      I didn’t grow up with any seafood in my diet, so I think it was the STRONG sea flavor that turned me off in my previous recipe. I have come to love many types of seafood as an adult, so I am going to try this again using your method. I think a chicken broth base will be yummy. I used a seaweed base previously, which I know is very healthy, but not if I can’t eat it.

      Thanks again!

    4. What a tasty recipe! I also appreciate the recommendation on the miso brand…before we moved there was a brand I’d get at the local coop, but sadly it’s not available here. I’ll have to check that one out!

    5. carrie Identicon carrie says:


      Thanks for the reccommendation for South River Miso! That’s great info; and their use of glass is really nice too.

      Yum! I love using zucchini for noodles! Great tips!

      Organic & Thrifty

    6. Jen Identicon Jen says:

      I more fully explored the South River Miso website. I didn’t look closely when I ordered. I discovered that they have a ton of recipes and suggestions for many ways to use miso. I’m really excited!

    7. Hi Carrie,

      Your new site is so neat, love the colors!

      It’s getting late, so forgive me if you covered this and I missed it:

      Where in the world do I find the MisoMaster Miso and the sea vegetables? I’ve never made anything like this before, so please clue me in! :)

      Thanks, Carrie.

    8. Jen Identicon Jen says:

      Kelly, I ordered wakame, soba noodles, and kelp from You could also buy them at an asian grocery store.

    9. Jess Identicon Jess says:

      Here’s a little miso tip. It’s a tasty topping for popcorn. The organic, old fashioned, popped on the stove in a big ol’ pot variety of popcorn (a very thrifty and organic snack ;-) cheers!

    10. Marnie Identicon Marnie says:

      I buy Miso Master from their website: Lots of good recipes and other info about miso.

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