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!
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!
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.