30 Days of Low-Calorie Vegan Lunches: Ginger-Miso Noodle Soup with Shiitakes and Greens + Green Tea

A rich miso broth made spicy with ginger and chili paste perfectly compliments the Shiitakes, soba, and tofu.

As I mentioned in my previous post on January's appropriateness for medicinal soups, I came up with two soup recipes, and this one is the second. It requires a little more planning and prep than my turmeric soup, but boy does it pay off when you sit down to enjoy eating it.

It's got plenty of garlic, herbs, greens, ginger, and miso to aid in healing, and the creamy bites of avocado set off the rich, spicy, umami flavors of the broth, noodles, and tofu. Squeeze some lime over it and enjoy it with a cup of green tea for maximum lunch awesomeness, for a grand total of only 389 calories, even with the avocado.

If you think you don't like green tea, please give it another chance with 1/8 teaspoon powdered stevia mixed in (my favorite is Sweetleaf powdered stevia in the green and white canister. No affiliation, just a fan. :)) Green tea compliments this soup in such a wonderful way, I'd hate for you to miss out. :)

Calorie counts are listed after the ingredients that have calories. This recipe is vegan, sugar-free, and gluten-free.

Ginger-Miso Noodle Soup with Shiitakes and Greens

Soak 5 small-medium dried shiitake caps (about 1/2 cup or so) in 3/4 cup water for 1-2 hours

1/2 tablespoon avocado oil (65 calories) (olive, sesame, or coconut would be fine too)
3 cloves garlic, minced (<1)
2 green onions, sliced (5)
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1/2 cup of the soaking water from the shiitakes
The soaked shiitakes, thinly sliced (0 calories according to package...yes!!!)
1 - 1.5 cups veggie broth (or water + 1/2 teaspoon veggie bouillon - this option = 10 cal)
1 tablespoon liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (I like Sambal Oelek. It's cheap, free of sugar, and you can get it at Walmart. And 0 calories according to package.)
1 oz buckwheat soba noodles, broken in half or smaller (about 1/2 cup, if they were all broken up and crammed in) (95 calories)
1/2 cup cubed "super firm" or extra firm tofu (Trader Joe's has 117 calories)

1 teaspoon brown miso paste (10)
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs like parsley and/or cilantro (<1)
2-3 cups chopped mixed baby greens (10)
2 lime wedges

1/3 cup sliced avocado (80)
Cilantro sprigs to garnish

1 green tea bag + sweetener of choice

Important: start soaking your shiitakes at least an hour before you want to make the soup.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic, green onion, and ginger powder until fragrant.

Add the shiitake water (pour off about 1/2 cup, leaving the silt in the bowl,) veggie broth or water plus bouillon, sliced mushrooms, liquid aminos, and chili paste. Bring to a boil and simmer about 5-7 minutes, then add the broken soba noodles and tofu. (I break the noodles in half to avoid slurping them and slinging broth all over the table and my face, but you are free to do as you please. :)) Simmer the noodles and tofu until the noodles are cooked, about another 7 minutes.

Brew your cup of green tea while waiting if desired. :)

Lower the heat to add the miso so it won't boil, stir it in and let it simmer a moment, and then add the herbs and greens. Stir until the greens wilt, turn off the heat, and squeeze one lime wedge over it.

Pour it into a large bowl and garnish with the sliced avocado, the extra lime wedge, and some cilantro sprigs.

Note: you may want to add more chili paste if you like it spicier, and more liquid aminos if you want it saltier.

Calorie Summary

The entire pot of soup with 1 oz noodles and 1/3 cup avocado is 389 calories by my count. The main calorie-containing foods here are those two plus the tofu, so if you're watching your calories or trying to lose weight like I am, control the portions of those three items carefully. Otherwise, feel free to not care and have as many noodles, as much avocado, and as much tofu as you please! Ha.

Here's what 1 oz soba noodles looks like...not very much, but as you can see they expand and fill up the bowl nicely.


Don't skip the cup of tea, be it green or otherwise. It will make it feel more like a complete meal and satisfy cravings for sweets afterwards...in my opinion, anyway. :)

I've eaten this twice in three days. No regrets.