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Delicious Detox: A 20-Minute Turmeric-Miso Soup


Delicious Detox: A 20-Minute Turmeric-Miso Soup

January 9, 2015

We’ve all heard of a New Year’s detox: a cleanse or something of the like after the ingestion of too many holiday calories. But I find the idea a bit overwhelming (similar to New Year’s resolutions).

To my mind, the best way to “cleanse” my body of toxins is to treat it well. By that, I mean more fruits and vegetables, clean food free of preservatives, and more home-cooked meals. I know the thought of making a home-cooked meal can be daunting, given busy schedules and such. But what if you could make something delicious (and healthy) in 20 minutes?

Read on for step-by-step instructions to make 20-Minute Turmeric-Miso Soup:

Above: The soup I highlight here is a quick 20-minute meal that will nourish you for days. This soup, like many miso soups, is a great way to boost your immune system and aid in digestion. That’s why I find it to be an essential part of my diet, especially after the holiday season.

Above: Miso is a great source of vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants, not to mention it has that great umami flavor that elevates just about any ingredient it accompanies. Add to that the sweet earthiness of turmeric and its own respectable anti-inflammatory, and digestive properties.  

Above: You can tweak this soup recipe by using different kinds of vegetables. The trick is finding vegetables that have similar cook times and are tasty together; for instance, sweet potatoes and carrots, or parsnips and celeriac.

Above: Here, I used turnips and mushrooms; I find the subtle sweetness of the turnips a great addition to the umami earthiness of the shiitake mushrooms. Plus, the gentle bite of the turnips complements the chewiness of the shiitakes.

Above: Incorporating buckwheat soba noodles rounds out this soup, and makes it a meal.

Above: Turmeric-Miso Soup with Turnips, Shiitakes, and Soba Noodles. 

20-Minute Miso-Turmeric Soup

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 medium turnips, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 8 ounces)
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and tops slivered
  • 1-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and grated (or 1½ teaspoons dried ground turmeric)
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons mellow yellow miso paste (preferably non-GMO)
  • 1 package 100 percent buckwheat soba noodles
  • 1/3 cup green onion or scallions, finely chopped
  • A few handfuls microgreens, to serve


Place the cubed turnips, sliced mushrooms, and turmeric in a large soup pot; cover with 4 cups filtered water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer; cook for roughly 15 to 18 minutes (until turnips are tender, but still have a bit of a bite).  Add 4 tablespoons of miso paste to a bowl, ladle 1 cup of the broth into the bowl and whisk until dissolved. Return mixture to soup pot; taste and adjust by adding more miso if need be.

Bring roughly 3 quarts of water to boil in a large pot; add soba noodles and cook according to instructions on the package.  Drain and rinse with cold water, use your fingers to separate noodles if need be. 

To serve, divide the noodles among soup bowls and ladle the vegetables and broth over top.  Finish with a sprinkling of sliced onions and microgreens.  

To store, combine leftover soup and noodles in a container with a fitted lid.  To reheat, gently bring to soup to desired temperature. (If heated too fast, on too high of a flame, miso can loose some of its nutritional integrity.)   

Are you craving soup for supper? For more recipes, see Irresistible Vegetable Soup in 30 Minutes or Less and Squash Soup with an Unexpected Twist.


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