Miso soup is traditionally made with dashi – a Japanese fish stock. This recipe uses the liquor you get after soaking dried shiitake mushrooms instead of dashi, for a vegetarian and vegan-friendly miso soup.

Shiitake mushrooms are meaty and earthy with lots of umami – so you can be sure that this dish is not lacking in flavour. Red miso is rich and salty, the perfect punchy partner for shiitake mushrooms.

Miso soup is usually served as a starter or side dish, but we’ve added noodles, tofu and vegetables to make a hearty soup you can enjoy as a main meal.

Buckwheat, or soba, noodles are made with buckwheat flour as well as wheat flour. This gives a nuttier flavour that works wonderfully with the rich miso and earthy mushrooms in this dish. The noodles come in pre-portioned bundles and each bundle serves 2 people.

Vegetarian Miso Soup with Buckwheat Noodles Recipe
Serves 2

For the shiitake liquor
60g dried shiitake mushrooms
1.5 litres boiling water

For the soup
800ml shiitake liquor
200ml water
2 tbsp red miso
½ sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large shiitake mushrooms saved from the liquor, halved
Approx. 50g shredded cabbage or curly kale
½ block firm silken tofu, cut into bite-size cubes
1 bundle buckwheat soba noodles
1 spring onion, finely sliced

  1. Start by making the shiitake liquor. In a large bowl, pour the boiling water over the shiitake mushrooms. Cover and leave to soak for 2-3 hours, or until the mushrooms are very soft.
  2. Drain the soaking liquid into a measuring jug – this is your shiitake liquor. Reserve 4 of the largest mushrooms for the soup later and slice in half. Keep the rest for another dish – like this recipe for braised bean curd skin with mushrooms.
  3. Pour 800ml of the shiitake liquor into a saucepan. Add the water and red miso and bring to the boil. Stir until the miso is dissolved.
  4. Add the sweet potato cubes and shiitake mushroom halves to the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Then add the cabbage, tofu and noodles and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Divide the noodle soup between two large bowls. Garnish with spring onion and serve immediately.