Okinawan Cream of Mushroom Soup


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This recipe was inspired by an Okinawan soup recipe made for us by Kae Izena, who owns a cooking school on Okinawa. Mushrooms are a prized ingredient on the island since they add a deep, umami flavor to dishes, and dried varieties are even beautifully wrapped and given as gifts. They are incredibly low in calories and high in protein, antioxidants, and vitamin D.

Yield: 2 servings

Ready in 20 minutes

Photo by David McLain


1 small onion or ¾ cup of leeks, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

1½ cup shiitake mushrooms (or use ½ cup of each of shiitake, enoki, and Shemeji mushrooms)

1 teaspoon ginger, grated

2 cups plain soy milk

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon miso paste


  1. In a large pot, stir fry onion in vegetable oil with dash of salt until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and continue sautéing until soft.
  3. Add ginger, soy milk, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat, remove bay leaf, and stir in miso at the end.