Beetroot Miso Soup – A Light Lunch or Swift Supper
Miso soup makes for a wonderfully quick, delicious and nourishing meal when you’re feeling under the weather or just in need of something to fill a gap in the day. It can be incredibly simple with just three ingredients, including water, or you can change things up a bit, as I’ve done with this beetroot miso soup.
It’s Day 5 of my vegan food month and so far I’ve really been enjoying the challenge. One of my principal concerns with taking part in Veganuary was finding a decent butter substitute. I’m not sure there’s a vegan margarine out there without a load of additives I’d feel unhappy about. It’s not the baking that bothers me as I’m happy using coconut or olive oil, but what do I spread on my toast, particularly with marmite? On Day 2, I decided to try a thin layer of almond butter as a vehicle for the marmite and oh yes, it most certainly does the trick. In fact, it’s so good, I had it again yesterday too. Sadly, almond butter is a lot more expensive than dairy butter, so it feels like a bit of a luxury.
As for the breakfasts and lunches I was so concerned about, I’m having a ball. I’m trying something different everyday and I’m relishing the variety. My last post highlighting 31 healthy vegan breakfast recipes has helped. Astonishingly, I haven’t even missed cheese yet. On Day 3, I had our leftover squash curry on toast, it was delicious. Yesterday, I had pitta bread stuffed with falafel, salad and tahini sauce. This beetroot miso soup was the lunch I had on Day 2, followed by a slice of that almond butter toast I was talking about. I’d forgotten just how good miso soup was.
Beetroot Miso Soup
So, first to the beetroot. I had some delivered in my veg box this week. As regular readers will know, CT is somewhat averse to this amazingly healthy and colourful vegetable. My first thought was quick, turn those roots into spiced pickled beetroot, to enhance my lunchtime sandwiches. But as I was pondering what I’d do with the beetroot cooking water, I had an epiphany: use it for miso soup. I hate throwing out any water that vegetables have been cooked in and it usually ends up in various jugs, cluttering up the fridge.
Once I made this decision, I added a little dulse seaweed to the cooking pan along with some water, the beets and a pinch of salt. I cooked the beets until just done. In the end I pickled the two larger beets, but kept the smaller one for my soup. Once the’re cooked, it’s a quick and simple process to get this beetroot miso soup on the table. Dice the beetroot and place in the soup bowl, then add some cubes of tofu and slices of spring onion. Mix the miso into the beetroot broth, pour over the beetroot mixture and job done.
I can’t tell you just how good this beetroot miso soup is. It’s voluptuously dark and you never quite know what’s going to be on your spoon when it emerges from the bowl – a slice of onion, a sliver of seaweed, a cube of tofu, a chunk of beetroot or a combination? Whatever it is, it will taste nourishing and delicious.
CT introduced me to miso soup when we first met along with all sorts of strange fermented concoctions. We went through one particular healthy phase when we had it regularly for breakfast, like they do in Japan. Just a little miso stirred into some hot water with a dried shiitake mushroom rehydrating in the mug until it was cool enough to drink. The combined properties of the mushroom and the miso kept us going happily until lunchtime.
Miso is a Japanese fermented paste made from combining koji, salt and beans, usually, but not exclusively, soya beans. It has a rich umami taste and is packed with beneficial gut bacteria. Miso is also high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Traditionally, the Japanese start every meal with a small bowl of miso soup to stimulate the digestion. Miso can be used for giving flavour and substance to all sorts of soups, sauces and marinades.
Traditional Japanese Miso Soup
The basic Japanese miso soup recipe consists of dashi and miso paste. Dashi is a stock made from kombu seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, fish or a combination of these. All sorts of ingredients can be added, but the most common are tofu, wakame seaweed and spring onions.
The key to a good miso soup, is to buy unpasteurised miso paste and then ensure you don’t let it boil. When I was first introduced to it, miso paste used to be hard to get hold of, but it’s now commonly available in supermarkets as well as health food shops and online.
Beetroot Miso Soup – The Recipe
- 1 medium beetroot - scrubbed , topped and tailed
- 600 ml water
- pinch of sea salt
- A couple of pieces of dried seaweed - snipped into small pieces (I used dulse)
- 1 heaped tsp miso paste
- 50 g tofu - diced into 1 cm cubes
- 1 spring onion - finely sliced
Place the beetroot and seaweed in a lidded pan with the water and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer until just tender - about 25 minutes.
- Remove the beetroot and cut into 1 cm cubes, keeping the skin on, unless you really can't bear it.
- Place into a soup bowl, add the tofu followed by the spring onion.
- Stir a little beetroot broth with the miso paste until smooth. Reheat the beetroot broth until it's hot but not quite boiling. Stir in the miso, then quickly pour over the beetroot before it cools down too much.
It's important that you don't boil miso or add boiling water to it as all its probiotic properties will be destroyed.
You can replace the beetroot with other vegetables. Carrots are particularly good, as is cabbage and most other greens.
This amount is enough for one person, but would make a starter for two.
Use a light vegetable stock instead of water if using a pre-cooked beetroot.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.
I’m sharing this beetroot miso soup with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare.
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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this beetroot miso soup, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.