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Spring Tonic Miso Soup with Maitake

This soup is a delicious way to give your immune system a boost. Substitute other spring vegetables if you want, and cook until tender.

Serves 4



  1. Soak the maitake in the water in a saucepan for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Bring the water and mushrooms to a simmer over a medium heat, and gently cook the maitake for 15 minutes. Add tofu and simmer for about a minute, then add watercress and simmer another minute or so.
  3. Take the soup off the heat. In a cup, dissolve the miso in a little bit of the liquid, and add it to the soup. Sprinkle with the spring onions and serve.


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.