Southeast Asian Miso Soup


This is a bright, attractive twist on the usual miso soup. It’s light and energizing and fierce enough to drive away a cold. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. The stock takes only minutes to get in the pot, and the garnishes are simple.

  • 4Servings


  • 1 leek, greens included, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, unpeeled and cut into 6 pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled and cut in half
  • 2 jalapenos, cut in half


  • 2 oz. rice stick noodles, broken into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs. dark red miso4 oz. firm silken tofu, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/3 box)
  • 1 scallion (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup watercress (1/2 bunch, heavy stems removed)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 small chile, such as Thai bird or serrano, or small jalapeno, cut into very thin rings, optional


In stockpot or large saucepan, combine leeks, onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, jalapeños, cilantro stems and 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 35 minutes.

Pour stock through a strainer set over a large bowl; discard solids. You should have about 5 cups of stock. If necessary, add water to measure 5 cups. Pour stock back into pot, and reheat if necessary.

Bring medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add rice noodles. Let boil 1 minute, turn off heat, and let stand 10 minutes to soften. Drain.

Remove 1/4 cup stock to small bowl; add miso, and stir until dissolved. Add miso mixture, noodles, tofu, scallions and watercress to stock. Stir in lime juice and cilantro leaves. Serve hot with jalapeño rings floating on top.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 86
  • Carbohydrate Content: 16 g
  • Fat Content: 1 g
  • Fiber Content: 1 g
  • Protein Content: 4 g
  • Sodium Content: 409 mg