Miso Alphabet Soup
Healthy, easy, and fun Miso Alphabet Soup is a 15 minute meal that introduces kids to a classic Japanese dish.
Hi everybody, it’s Sue from The View from Great Island! Today I’m sharing one of my own kids’ all time favorite soups — it’s the way I introduce them to the wonders of Japanese food. Miso soup is a winter staple in our house, and when you add playful alphabet noodles you make it fun and accessible for all ages.
There are so many great things going on in this wonderful soup. Miso paste is an ancient Japanese health food made from fermented soybeans. It doesn’t sound like much, I know, but when you stir it into hot water or broth it makes a comforting, subtly flavored soup. The paste is full of detoxifying enzymes, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, and probiotics. It helps strengthen the immune system, lowers cancer risk, reduces bad cholesterol, and aids in digestion. The Japanese have been eating it daily for thousands of years, so I think it’s about time we got in on the action.
Miso is a ‘living’ food, and the reason you add it to the hot broth OFF the heat is so that you don’t kill all those amazing beneficial microorganisms. That means miso soup is not only one of the healthiest, but one of the quickest soups you can make. Just heat your broth, stir in the paste, and you’re ready to go. The soup will be characteristically cloudy, and mildly flavored. Common add-ins are tofu, green onions, and maybe some mushrooms, but you can do whatever you, or your kids, like. Pasta is a no-brainer, and makes this soup even more hearty on a cold day.
Miso paste is found in the refrigerated section of your regular grocery store, usually right near the tofu. There are several varieties, ranging from pale yellow to dark red, with the paler ones being the mildest. I used sweet white miso, which is a light yellow in color, and very mild. A good choice for kids. It will keep for at least a year in the fridge, once opened. The alphabet pasta can be a little trickier to find. If you have trouble, you can always order it online, and I highly recommend ordering an extra bag or two so you’ll have it on hand. If you like you can substitute another very small pasta shape, like orzo or pastina (tiny stars.) You can even use leftover rice.
Both the miso and the tofu are delicately flavored and easy for kids to accept. You’ll definitely be doing them a great service by introducing them to both super foods early in life. With this simple Miso Alphabet Soup they will be getting a deliciously healthy meal. They’ll get some practice with their letters, too!
Miso Alphabet Soup
- 4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium
- 8 ounce pasta, shapes
- 1 block Tofu, firm
- 1 stalk green onion
- 1/8 cup Miso
- Bring the stock or water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the alphabet pasta and boil gently until done, about 6 minutes, or according to the package directions.
- Cut the tofu into small cubes, and thinly slice the green onions, and set aside.
- When the pasta is tender, take the soup off the heat. Stir in the miso paste, and then add the tofu.
- Serve in small bowls, garnished with the sliced green onions.
You’ll find Sue over at The View from Great Island where she’s busy cooking up all kinds of fun in her kitchen. Stop by and sign up on her email list so you can get each new post delivered to your inbox. You won’t want to miss one delicious bite!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Thank you for the fun twist on an old classic!
I just tried this at home and it was good, but it had kind of a funky taste from the noodles I used; I had a hard time finding alphabet noodles so I went with what WinCo had(in the Hispanic food aisle for some reason.)
So there is just one recommendation I would give to other people making this recipie: If you have cheapish dry noodles, or noodles that have an anti-caking powered like flour or corn starch on them cook(or at least parboil) them in a separate pot of water drain and then add them to the broth
This was a fun and super easy but I ended up with noodles, not soup and I don’t think my Miso jived with my vegetable stock base because the flavor was a little off… might have been too much Miso for me. Will try this one again though.
17 month old LOVED this (and so did his parents)!!! After reading the reviews, I adjusted by adding an additional cup of chicken broth. Also, I had to use kikkokin oriental style noodles since I couldn’t find plain alphabet noodles :(, but, will keep looking for Alphabet noodles since I think that would make 3.5yo a fan too!
My kids loved this! I added mushrooms, and doubled the stock. I also only used 3/4 of the package of tofu. I used mini cheese raviolis from Trader Joe’s instead of the alphabet noodles. I changed a number of things, but the base recipe is perfect! Just needs way more stock.
I noticed that the nutrition does not include Sodium, isnt miso paste & broth high in sodium? Is there any cause for concern for high amounts of sodium and toddlers?