A light Japanese inspired mushroom tofu soup that is easy to make vegetarian or vegan
This mushroom tofu soup is a healthy light soup that might be one of the easiest soups you’ll ever make. It is perfect not just in the colder months, but in the summer as well. Japanese or Asian inspired, you’ll need a few key ingredients such as your favorite mushrooms (I used shiitake and brown beech), miso paste, soft tofu, and green onion. Ready in less than 15 minutes, this is the perfect light appetizer, side dish, or lunch. To make vegetarian or vegan simply use vegetable broth.
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Simple and easy to make
If you’re in the mood for a quick lunch, appetizer, or side, this is the soup recipe. It’s so easy to make, it should be done in less than 15 minutes. It’s also super versatile: it starts light, but can be filling if you add vermicelli noodles.
Prep the vegetables and tofu
Use fresh and good quality vegetables, they are the stars of this soup. For mushrooms, use your favorite. I chose shiitake and brown beech (part of the gourmet blend pictured) but don’t feel like you can’t make this if you don’t have those available. Shiitake have an earthy flavor and their texture is much meatier. Enoki mushrooms are a Japanese favorite in soups with a delicate flavor, they are longer and almost look like strings. White button mushrooms, available everywhere, can also be used.
The only other vegetable you need is green onion – it wouldn’t be a Japanese, or Asian inspired soup, without it. It also goes so well with the miso. Feel free to also add carrots as well, they add a crunchy texture that breaks through the softness in this soup.
Silken tofu is so easy to use, no need to press the water out. Just slice and add to the broth, along with all your chopped vegetables. That’s it!
Mix the miso separately
Don’t try to save a few minutes by dropping the miso right into the broth – it can form lumps. Instead, mix it with hot water in a separate small bowl. It might take whisking it for a few minutes to get any clumps out, but it is well worth it. Then it is a simple step of just dropping the thickened liquid into the main soup.
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How to Store
This soup makes at least 4 servings but can be more depending on if you are making it as a side or a meal. If you are making it as a meal with vermicelli noodles, which I highly recommend, do not store the noodles with the soup. Vermicelli takes a few minutes to cook, so boil the noodles as needed.
For storing the soup, place in an airtight Tupperware in the fridge. It will keep for at least 3-4 days. When you want to reheat it, place in a pan and warm for a few minutes.
Mushroom Tofu Soup Key and Optional Ingredients
This soup can be made heartier with the addition of noodles. It can also easily be made vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth.
- Broth (Chicken or vegetable): Every good soup needs a starting broth. If you are vegetarian or vegan, use vegetable broth. If you prefer a heartier base, chicken broth can also be used.
- Mushroom: The fullness of the soup comes from the mushrooms, so don’t skimp on your favorites. I used shiitake and brown beech (from a gourmet mushroom blend: highly recommend if you see this available), but enoki would also go well. Feel free to use what mushrooms you have on hand or that you enjoy most.
- Green onion: It’s necessary. There is just something about green onion in an Asian inspired soup.
- Soft or silken tofu: As an extra firm tofu lover, I’ve always been dubious about soft tofu. After this soup, I’ve realized what I’ve been missing out on. It’s so easy to add – just slice and drop in the broth. The silky texture is perfect for soup, for this recipe I used silken tofu from Nasoya. If you do not have soft tofu on hand you can also use firm tofu.
- Miso paste: If you aren’t familiar with miso, this paste is made from fermented soybeans. There are many different types of miso, but for this soup I used white or light miso. Look for an organic white miso paste such as from Hikari.
- Vermicelli, cellophane noodles, or glass noodles (optional): If you would like a heartier soup, feel free to add vermicelli to it. It complements the broth and vegetables and will keep you satiated longer. These are my preferred vermicelli noodles from Amazon.
- Carrots or greens (optional): Not necessary but feel free to add more vegetables. I used carrots to add an extra crunch.
Other Soup Recipes to Try
Mushroom Tofu Soup
- 5 cups vegetable broth optional low sodium chicken broth if not vegan/vegetarian
- 1 lb silken tofu
- 8 ounces sliced mushroom shiitake or enoki if available
- 5 sliced thin green onion (around 1 cup)
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot (optional)
- 3 tbsp miso paste white or yellow if available
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 12 ounces vermicelli noodles (optional, about 3 ounces per serving)
- Add chicken or vegetable broth to a medium or large pan and bring to a low simmer.
- Chop vegetables (mushroom, scallion, and carrot if using) into relatively thin slices. Remove silken tofu from packaging and slice into small squares. Add all vegetables and tofu to the broth and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add miso paste to a small bowl. Add hot water (not boiling) and whisk well until there are no lumps, will be a thick smooth liquid.
- Once vegetables and tofu have simmered, remove the pan from heat. Add miso-based liquid to the soup and serve while warm.
- Optional: if would like a heartier soup, cook about 3oz of vermicelli noodles per their package directions in a separate pan. Add cooked noodles to a bowl, then top with the miso mushroom tofu soup.
What do you think of these ingredients? Let me know how this recipe turned out for you!