Whether it’s made by a Michelin-star restaurant or your local takeout joint, miso soup is always so comforting for both our Heart and digestive system. This miso soup recipe incorporates many different kinds of mushrooms to add extra umami flavor and adaptogenic qualities. The addition of reishi, depending on the variety and form you use, may give this soup a slightly bitter aftertaste. If that bothers you, you can skip it and still make a healing bowl of miso soup.
Vegan, Gluten-free, and nut-free
Five Elements: Water, Fire, Earth
Seasonality: Cold, Warm, Humid, Dry
Meridian Affinity: Heart, Stomach, Kidney
Functions: Aids Digestion, Calming
Yields: 6 servings
Time: 2 hours
Note: Many of the below ingredients can be sourced from H Mart, which has various locations in Westchester, or your local Asian market.
10 dried or fresh black wood ear mushrooms
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 hand-sized piece of kombu
3 pieces (6 grams) reishi or 2 teaspoons reishi extract
3 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
2 teaspoons mirin
2 tablespoons sake
3 medium jujube dates (15 grams), pitted and halved
8 cups bone broth or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
½ pound assorted fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white or red miso paste
½ block (8 ounces) silken tofu, cubed
Sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped scallions, for garnish
- Carefully wash the dried wood ear mushrooms and soak in warm water for 1 hour in a medium mixing bowl. Drain. The wood ear mushrooms expand significantly after soaking. If using fresh black wood ear mushrooms, you do not need to soak them.
- In a large soup pot, add the soaked wood ear mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms, kombu, reishi, soy sauce, mirin, sake, jujube dates, and broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain the base broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the cooked kombu into strips and set aside. Reserve the jujube dates and discard the rest of the solids.
- In the empty soup pot, heat the sesame oil over a medium-high heat and cook the ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Pour the prepared base broth and bring to a boil. Ladle ½ cup of the broth into a small bowl and add the miso paste. Stir and let the miso paste completely dissolve in the broth. Pour the miso mixture back into the soup pot. Add the cubed silken tofu and cooked kombu. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with sea salt.
- Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and serve warm, garnished with the chopped scallions.
Recipe by Zoey Xinyi Gong, from her book, “The Five Elements Cookbook: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine with Recipes for Everyday Healing”