Soup for breakfast? It is one of my favorites. Every since going to Kripalu and seeing two kinds of soup served for breakfast every morning: Miso and whatever leftover vegetables they had for a vegetable soup, I realized this is the best way for me to start my day. I feel light, refreshed, and nourished. I sometimes eat it with a side of whole grain toast with vegan butter on it if I need a little more oomph or I put noodles in my soup.
Food is meant to be soothing to your gut. This soup soothes me, and clears my mind. Food is medicine, and miso is said to be great for our health and gut. Think of your gut as your little brain of the body, and that might help you to make better food decisions.
Here are some benefits of miso, taken from The Magic of Miso, by Hiro Watanabe Ph.d
Many studies have been done on miso, some on humans and some on animals. These studies are showing the following benefits of miso2:
- Reduces risks of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
- Protection from radiation
- Immune strengthening
- Antiviral — miso is very alkalizing and strengthening to the immune system helping to combat a viral infection.
- Prevents aging – high in antioxidants, miso protects from free radicals that cause signs of aging.
- Helps maintain nutritional balance – full of nutrients, beneficial bacteria and enzymes, miso provides: protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, tryptophan, choline, dietary fiber, linoleic acid and lecithin.
- Helps preserve beautiful skin – miso contains linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps your skin stay soft and free of pigments.
- Helps reduce menopausal complaints – the isoflavones in miso have been shown to reduce hot flashes.
This soup takes me less than 10 mins to make, and you can use leftover tofu, rice, cooked veggies to add to the base, but here is the essentials:
6 cups of purified water
2 carrots sliced into coins
1-2 stalks of celery sliced
a large pinch of wakame seaweed (packed with micro-nutrients & iodine and makes the soup taste great!)
2-3 generous tablespoons of yellow miso
Put the veggies and seaweed into a medium sized pot. Add the water slowly. Cook on low for about an hour, this is great for yoga time. Take the simmering soup off the heat, let it rest for a few minutes and add your miso in with a strainer of some kind, just swirling it through the water until dissolved. Do not add your miso to boiling soup, it kills the good stuff in it. Read up on the different types of miso, organic is really important when choosing too.
At this point you can eat it like it is, or add in a shake of shoyu, edamame and soba noodles. This morning I happened to have leftover noodles and edamame and it was delicious to just add it in and let the hot soup warm it up. I also have used diakon, cabbage, broccolini in with the veggie mix above. Or leftover cooked short grain brown rice and a 1/2 cup of tofu cut in cubes. Watercress and kale make nice additions in the winter and early spring. Play around with what you like. Did I mention my kids love this soup? My toddlers will eat 2-3 bowls of it sometimes in one sitting, even at breakfast.
I eat this soup usually for breakfast and lunch when I make it, since it makes just about enough for 3-4 servings and I prefer to eat it fresh. I will alternate soup 2-3 times a week, miso or diakon, and sometimes just toast or oatmeal. I love eggs, but I found that they are a bit too heavy for me in the morning, I prefer eggs at lunch if I am going to eat them. I found this all out by really listening to my body and what it needs to eat.
A few easy things to do for the mental piece of mindful eating:
- chew slowly and savor your food
- put the fork down and notice if you are full
- wait to go for seconds
- notice how you feel after a meal, are you too full? tired? bloated? gassy?
- if you notice you are anything other than light, content, revitalized then you might want to consider making some changes
A great place to start is my favorite cookbook, The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner. She really helps you understand the moods of food in a easy way. Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet also takes this into perspective.