Depending on the variety, soup can have so many healing benefits.
My new Miso Microbiome recipe is no exception: Easy on digestion and packed with phytonutrients, it’s light yet flavorful and tastes like it has super powers. The clear broth and warming ginger are reminiscent of a comforting childhood chicken noodle soup, but this version has a Japanese twist and is vegan.
When it comes to the gastrointestinal tract, the goal is to soothe, nourish and repair. The sensitive lining of our gut is only one cell layer thick and behind it lies 70 percent or more of what powers the immune system.
Aspects of our modern lifestyle—stress, processed unhealthy foods, medications and alcohol, to name a few—can break down or compromise this sensitive barrier and trigger the immune system in unhealthy ways. For example, inflammation in the body is a sign of a triggered immune system, instigating ailments like eczema, acne, brain fog, joint pain, allergies, low mood, anxiety and several others.
This soup is by no means the cure for any medical condition, but it is, without a doubt, gut-friendly. It contains anti-inflammatory turmeric, ginger and onion, while being free of some of the most common gut irritants: gluten, dairy and sugar.
The recipe contains highly nutritious shitake mushrooms, which are full of important minerals, packed with B vitamins and also offer immune-regulating vitamin D—not usually found in foods. Shitake mushrooms have been proven to be anti-inflammatory and to support immune function.
The soup’s organic miso—a salty paste made from fermented grains and beans (usually soybeans)—has been a staple ingredient in the Japanese diet for thousands of years. Because miso is fermented, it contains beneficial live probiotic cultures (or friendly bacteria) that have many benefits for the gut and our microbiome.
Tip: To avoid destroying those beneficial components, only add miso to your soup when it's no longer boiling and just about ready to serve.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 medium white onion or 4 stalks of spring onion, chopped.
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 medium red chili, de-seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, grated/finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 1 cup dried Shitake mushrooms, sliced (or 2 cups fresh)
- 1 cup fresh green string beans, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 pound soba noodles (made from 100% soba, wheat-free)
- 1 liter filtered water
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- Sautée the chopped onion, garlic, red chili and grated ginger in the coconut oil.
- Add the shitake mushrooms and green beans. Stir and sautée for another 5 minutes.
- Add about 4 cups water (or organic broth) and 2 tablespoons of coconut aminos.
- Turn down the heat and let simmer for 20 mins.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons mellow white miso. Add the soba noodles and simmer for about another 5 mins, until the noodles are al dente.
- Top with sprinkled sesame seeds, some fresh spring onion, wakame and a tablespoon of chopped kimchi.
— Klara Mudge
Klara Mudge is a functional medicine nutritionist, NLP practitioner, health coach and certified yoga instructor, who graduated in London, then worked in New York (at the Parsley Health) and now lives in Namibia. From there, she writes, coaches and teaches private and corporate clients all over the world about attainable, sustainable, personalized health.