Shiitake Lemongrass Soup

I recently saw this recipe on the Whole Foods Market website and really wanted to make it, but of course I am incapable of following a recipe so I made it my own by adding extra veggies and changing the preparation a bit. I also removed the tofu, I just don’t understand tofu and I really don’t like how processed it is. Don’t get me started on my tofu rant! If you really want to know you can email me. Meanwhile, enjoy this delicious, veggie-rich soup that is full of stomach cleansing probiotics and whole foods. Note: This recipe uses miso paste which is made by fermenting a mixture of soybeans, barley and brown rice. It is a probiotic food that contains microorganisms that are great for your digestive system. If you have never used miso paste before then mellow white miso is a great one to start with. It has the most mild flavor because it is the least fermented. The delicate flavor works great in light recipes like this, however there are few things you need to be careful about when cooking with miso paste. It should always be added at the end of a recipe once the food is at serving temperature and never heated over high heat because this could kill the beneficial microorganisms. Since it is is made with soybeans you should make sure to buy either organic or non-GMO paste in the refrigerated section, usually wherever the tofu is located. If making this recipe gluten-free make sure to buy gluten-free miso and tamari.

Makes: 6 cups

Preparation time: 20m
Cooking time: 20m
Total time: 40m


  • 2 leeks
  • 10-15 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped or minced)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 large carrot (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 2 celery stalks (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 red bell pepper (cored, seeded and thinly sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon organic tamari
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 3 spring onions (white and light green parts thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons non-GMO miso paste (make sure to buy gluten-free miso if making this recipe gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Equipment: 2 quart saucepan or larger


  1. Thinly chop and wash the leeks. For detailed instructions click here:INLINE-LINK-START title="How To: Chop and Wash Leeks" href="../../../howtos/how-to-chop-and-wash-leeks" target="_blank"> How To: Chop and Wash Leeks. INLINE-LINK-END
  2. Place the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl a cold water to wash them. They are grown in sandy soil so this allows the sand to fall to the bottom of the bowl, while the mushrooms float at the top. Remove the mushrooms and dry them on paper towels then trim the stems and thinly slice.
  3. Heat the toasted sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Sauté the mushrooms, garlic and ginger until the garlic starts to brown and the mushrooms release their juices (about 5 minutes). Use a slotted spoon to remove these to a bowl temporarily.
  5. Now sauté the leeks, carrot, celery, and bell pepper until they begin to sweat and soften (8-10 minutes).
  6. Add the mushroom mixture back to the pan along with the tamari and vegetables stock.
  7. Bruise the lemongrass stock with the back of a knife, then cut it into 3 pieces and add it to the soup.
  8. Simmer the soup for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Remove the lemongrass pieces. Stir in the spring onions, miso and cilantro and either serve warm or refrigerate for up to a week. When reheating this soup be sure not to boil it or you could kill the beneficial microorganisms in the miso. If you plan to make this soup to serve at a later date you might consider not adding the miso until you are ready to serve it.

Inspired by Whole Foods Market INLINE-LINK-START title="Shiitake-Lemongrass Miso Soup" href="" target="_blank">Shiitake-Lemongrass Miso Soup INLINE-LINK-END.