five minute feel better miso vegetable soup

quick spicy miso vegetable soup

You know that cold that has been going around? The one everyone in class or at your office has had? The one I was so smug about having avoided, particularly after having spent hours sitting next to sick classmates, working with sick kids, and sleeping next to a sick husband? Yeah. It caught up with me.

Unfortunately, it caught up with me on blizzard day (which came after -20C day) and the aforementioned sick husband had left the country on a business trip and packed the cold medicine with him. Leaving the apartment? Not an option. Quick, hot, spicy soup? Yes please.

quick spicy miso vegetable soupThis soup is the kind of thing I reach for when I’m under the weather, but it is delicious at any time. I start with a ready-made vegetable broth which I trick out with a lot of fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, and, if I’m in the mood, some slices of red chilies. To that I’ll swirl in a couple of tablespoons of nutty miso paste, and then add a few handfuls of whatever vegetables I’ve got on hand, and maybe some cubed up tofu. It’ll warm you up nicely, and the whole thing comes together in about five minutes.

quick spicy miso vegetable soup

A note on broth: you know those awesome 1L cartons of high quality low-sodium organic vegetable broth? Those don’t exist where I live. My choices are either to make homemade vegetable broth, which I quite simply don’t have the freezer space for, or to use broth cubes. I’ve tried out many different brands of broth cubes and have settled on either Marigold, which is an organic brand from the UK, or a Swedish brand which I can’t for the life of me remember the name of right now and I recycled the box earlier this week. But if you, like me, are in a broth cube situation, look for something which contains a lot of real dehydrated vegetables and a bit of salt. No funky ingredients. I find the cubes can have an overpowering flavour at times, so if I am making something like this soup or a risotto where I really want other flavours to shine through, I’ll dilute it about 50% (so, if it says 1 cube for 2 cups of water, I’ll use 1 cube for 4 cups of water, or cut a cube in half for 2 cups of water). Keep in mind that miso paste is quite salty on it’s own, so even if you’re starting with a carton of broth, you may want to dilute it with some water to cut down on the salt in this soup.

quick spicy miso vegetable soup

One year ago: Gingersnaps
Two years ago:
Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup

Five Minute Feel Better Miso Vegetable Soup Recipe:

This soup is very much a choose your own adventure situation. Use whatever add ins you have on hand, or choose none at all and just drink up the broth. I used thinly sliced carrots, broccoli spears, and some cubed tofu I happened to have in the fridge.

Serves 2


4 cups vegetable broth (see notes above)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 Tbsp thinly sliced red chilli pepper (optional)
3 Tbsp miso paste
1 green onion, thinly sliced

Add ins:
a handful each of julienned carrots, broccoli spears, and cubed firm tofu. Or whatever else strikes your fancy.


Place the vegetable broth, ginger, garlic, chilli pepper, and green onion in a medium pot over high heat. Bring to the boil, uncovered, then reduce to a simmer.

Put the miso paste into a small bowl, and add a little of the broth to it. Use a fork or a spoon and mash the paste into the broth to create a slurry. Add this into the soup pot. Do not allow the broth to return to a boil.

Add any vegetables or other add ins to the pot. Allow them to heat through for a couple of minutes so the vegetables cook just slightly.

Serve immediately.


Miso, fermented soybean paste, is a good source of manganese, vitamin K, protein, dietary fiber, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Additionally, miso is a good source of phytonutrient antioxidants, which are related to it’s fermentation. Try to source out organic miso if you can, since miso is made from soybeans, and most non-organic soybeans are genetically modified.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012


  1. Rebecca says

    Hey! I was randomly googling vegan, healthy dinners and i click on a website which has a list of 20 vegan helathy dinners. The pick of this soup came up and i clicked and it took me to your page (which i visit often but never directed this way before!) Nice!!

    Anyways quick q: does this refridgerate / freeze well? Living alone i usually make stuff like this in bulk and heat it up after work throughout the course of the week, or have it in thefreezer as a stanby.


  2. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand says

    Nice little remedy you have there Katie. I caught the same nasty cold when I was in Vietnam – and the perfect pick me up was a chicken Pho with all it’s condiments. Packed full of nutrients – it helped me recover quickly. Glad you are feeling better!

  3. laura_howtocook says

    This has got to be the best answer to curing a nasty cold ever. If only more people realised it. A natural remedy in a bowl and it happens to taste good too. I love to add chilli to mine every time or chilli flakes…..Mmm!

  4. kellie@foodtoglow says

    I am also a miso soup-as-cure person. Lots of chillies and ginger shreds to internally fumigate and rev me up (at least temporarily). Glad to hear that you are now feeling much better. I haven’t had the dreaded cold/flu thing that’s doing the rounds, and nor has my family. I put it down to homemade vegetable juices. But if I do come down with it, miso soup is the chief head clearer

  5. Leanne says

    Yikes, poor you– as if -20 wasn’t enough! When anyone in my household is sick, my first maneuver is to try to smoke it out, so, LOTS of chiles! This looks simple, fast, delicious, and healing … I am going to have to put miso paste on my next grocery list and keep this soup on the ready for us.

  6. Herbifit says

    This looks amazing! When i don’t have a good vegetable stock to hand I soak a handful of dried mushroom in boiling water for ten minutes and then drain it and add the mushrooms finely chopped to the dish. I wonder if it would work with this? Do you think it might also work to stir in some fine noodles?
    Really looking forward to trying this – thanks 🙂
    Oddly my favourite feel bad food is a tofu and miso dish
    Must be something about the sodium and protein…


    • themuffinmyth says

      I’m sure it would work with a mushroom broth like that. I don’t like mushrooms, so it wouldn’t be my cup of broth, but by all means go for it! And of course, you could stir in noodles, or anything else you like!

      • Herbifit says

        I’ll give it a go. I find the mushroom broth just adds a savory note. The taste of mushroom isn’t overpowering and you can throw out the yucky mushrooms if you don’t like the texture (took me years to train myself to like them).

  7. Kathryn says

    For some reason (masochism maybe?) I don’t usually take cold/flu remedies and much prefer to dose myself up on spicy food and soup which makes this absolutely perfect for me.

    • themuffinmyth says

      I was raised by a doctor who had a cabinet full of sample packets of cold medicines and other things. For me to have not taken anything is an indicator of how absolutely nasty it was outside. I tend to avoid medicating other thing, but if I can’t breathe through my nose I can’t sleep. This soup definitely helped with that when I ate it, but a sleepless night was had.


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