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Kyoto-style White Miso Soup

Simplicity and a flavourful stock are the beauty of this authentic recipe. Other vegetables may be added.

Serves 4


For garnish

  • Watercress sprigs and/or decorative carrot rings


  1. Place the kombu, shiitake and water in a saucepan and soak for at least 15 minutes. Heat over a medium flame and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the kombu and shiitake and reserve for other use. (They can be sliced and cooked with beans or vegetables.)
  2. Add the tofu and salad onion, and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  3. Dilute the miso in a little broth, add to the soup, and allow to rest briefly before serving.


John & Jan BellemeJohn & Jan Belleme

John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.

For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.

In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.

Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.

John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.