Surprisingly substantial, this winter vegetable miso soup features roots, cabbage, tofu, and shiitake mushrooms. This flavorful, naturally vegan soup is quite warming, and more filling than the more traditional broth-y style miso soups.
This delightful winter soup makes great use of common winter vegetables potatoes (and/or sweet potato), napa or regular cabbage, carrots, plus a choice of daikon, turnip, or parsnip. Fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms add a lovely earthy flavor.
Use any variety of miso: Any kind works in this soup — hatcho, mugi, shiro, or chickpea miso. The latter is soy-free, allowing anyone with soy sensitivity to finally enjoy miso soup! That, and shiro (also known as mellow white) are my favorites for this soup.
A few shiitake tips
Shiitake mushroom broth as an optional starter: As an alternative to water with bouillon cube plus fresh or rehydrated shiitakes added right to the soup, consider making Dried Shiitake Mushroom Broth. The added depth of flavor that results is totally worth the little extra effort!
Fresh shiitakes: Once only found in dried form in Western markets, shiitakes are now widely available fresh. They’re pricier than white or cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, but with their more intense flavor, a little goes a longer way.
Dried shiitakes: To have shiitakes on hand and available, you might consider keeping a quantity of them in dried form. Store them in a tightly capped jar in a cool, dry place and they’ll keep for at least a year.
This soup will be great with either fresh or dried (and reconstituted) shiitakes.
Rehydrating shiitake mushrooms quickly: simply soak them in hot water to cover in a heatproof bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until pliable.
Squeeze lightly when cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the tough stems and slice the caps. Save the flavorful soaking liquid for use in stocks and sauces.
Or, a long soak in cold water: There’s an even better way to rehydrate shiitakes, if time allows (and if you think of it in plenty of time). According to Hannah Kaminsky, this site’s photographer, soaking the dried mushrooms in cold water for 24 hours rather than just a quick soak in hot water is the optimal method.
“This slow rehydration process allows for every cell to plump with moisture,” she says, “making even the tougher stems soft enough to enjoy.” There are lots more tips and info about shiitakes to glean on Hannah’s blog, Bittersweet.
If you love these delectable mushrooms, make sure to explore this roundup of vegan fresh shiitake mushroom recipes.
See also A Guide to Fresh Shiitake Mushrooms, the Ultimate Umami Ingredient for lots more tips and ideas.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, quartered and sliced
- 4 medium potatoes (any variety), peeled and finely diced (see Variation)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage, preferably napa
- 1 large celery stalk, cut into thick matchsticks
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
- 1 cup peeled, diced daikon radish, white turnip, or parsnip
- 32-ounce carton vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh or bottled ginger, or to taste
- 1/4 cup dry red wine or sherry, optional
- 8 ounces soft tofu, well blotted and cut into small dice
- 2 rounded tablespoons miso, any variety, or more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.
- Add the potatoes, cabbage, celery, carrot, and daikon radish. Add the broth and water, then stir in the ginger and optional wine.
- Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently with the cover ajar for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not overdone.
- Remove from the heat; gently stir in the tofu.
- Dissolve the miso in just enough water to make it smooth and pourable. Stir it into the soup, then taste; repeat the process to add more if you’d like. Season with plenty of pepper and serve at once.
Variation: Substitute one medium sweet potato for two of the white potatoes.
Broth: As an alternative to water with bouillon cube plus fresh or rehydrated shiitakes added right to the soup, consider making Dried Shiitake Mushroom Broth. The added depth of flavor that results is totally worth the little extra effort!
To rehydrate dried shiitake mushrooms quickly: Soak in boiling hot water to cover in a heatproof bowl or saucepan for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove stems and slice. Use the soaking liquid as part of the broth for the soup. For the 24-hour method, see the notes above the recipe box.
If you like this miso mushroom soup, you might also enjoy …
More tasty vegan cabbage recipes.
Here are lots more delectable vegan soups & stews.