Craving something light, but super healthy? Try this easy Sea Vegetable Soup recipe with mushrooms, miso, and green onions. (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Sea Vegetables, miso, and mushroom soup in a white bowl.

So, are you eating them?

Sea vegetables, that is.

If not, you should be!

Sea Vegetables Health & Nutrition Benefits

  • Fucoidans. These starch-like polysaccharides in sea vegetables are being studied for many potential health benefits.  In vitro studies {studies done in a test tube}have shown fucoidans to have antitumor, antiangiogenic, antiviral, and immunomodulatory effects.  In addition, fucoidans may also have neuroprotective, radioprotective, anticoagulant, antithrombotic, and antiulcer properties.  Clearly human studies are needed, but the potential health benefits from fucoidans appear very promising.
  • Iodine. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine which supports thyroid health. 1/4 cup of sea veggies provides over 276 % of the recommended daily value for iodine.
  • Insulin Sensitivity. Contains enzymes called haloperoxidases and the mineral vanadium.  Research is preliminary, but vanadium may help with insulin sensitivity.
  • Iron. Sea vegetables provide a good source of non-heme iron.

Now that you know about the health benefits of sea vegetables, you still may be wondering how to eat them. Me too! Up until this point, my sea veggie eating had consisted of sushi seaweed, seaweed snacks, and seaweed salad.

B.O.R.I.N.G!!!

Considering that there are thousands of varieties of sea vegetables {aka algae}, clearly I needed to expand my sea veggie repoitoire, so I started with three varieties, dulse, kombu, and arame.

Varieties of Sea Vegetables

Dulse is a deep purple color, and while it is recommended that it be soaked for 10 minutes, then cooked for 5-10 minutes, it has a nice chewy texture and can be eaten for a snack straight from the bag.

Kombu, on the other hand, is much tougher, and definitely needs to be soaked and cooked before eating. It’s often used in stocks or ground as a flavor enhancer.

The last variety I tried was Alaria. It is harvested in the Atlantic and is a distant cousin of Japanese wakame.  After soaking and cooking, it has a nice chewy texture and mild flavor.

It worked perfectly for my Super Healthy Super Sea Vegetable Soup!

Chock full of health enhancing  sea vegetables, miso, mushrooms, green onions, and tofu, a generous serving of this soup will no doubt help keep the winter colds and other ailments away!

sea vegetables soup in a white dish with red chopsticks

A word of caution…

Before I share the recipe with you, I feel it’s important to share some information regarding the potential for heavy metal contamination, in particular arsenic, involving sea vegetable, as virtually all types of sea veggies have been determined to contain traces of arsenic.

Clearly, the potential health benefits of consuming sea veggies are tremendous, however, I’m guessing most of you , like me, don’t like the idea of adding arsenic in to your diet, so here is some information to consider when buying sea veggies.

  • Hijki carries the most risk in terms of arsenic exposure, therefore should be avoided unless it is available in the form of certified organic hijiki {See more on organic sea veggies below}.
  • There are some Certified Organic Sea Veggies on the market today.  Some of these have been farmed in a closely monitored  “aquaculture” or “mariculture” process and are more likely to have much lower levels {or no detected levels} of arsenic and other heavy metals.  Other certified organic sea veggies  are wild-harvest, but come from regions where ocean waters are better protected against contaminants.
  • Your best bet is to use certified organic products that report testing for heavy metals, chemicals, and bacteriological pollution. 

Easy Sea Vegetable Miso and Mushroom Soup

Craving something light, but super healthy? Try this easy Sea Vegetable Soup recipe with mushrooms, miso, and green onions. (Gluten Free, Vegan)
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cup dried alaria, may use another sea vegetable
  • 5 tablespoons miso, or to taste
  • 2 cup cooked mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cups firm tofu, cubed

Instructions

  • Place water and dried alaria in a large pot {the alaria will expand greatly in volume}, and bring water to a boil. Turn heat down, and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Removed alaria from pot and set aside. Whisk miso into water, according to taste. Chop the alaria in to bite size pieces.
  • Divide miso broth between 4 bowls and top each bowl with 1/4 of the alaria, cooked mushrooms, and green onions. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup tofu.

Notes

Miso: There are many varieties of miso. I used yellow miso which has a light, slightly sweet taste. If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure you use miso which has been fermented with rice as opposed to barley.
Mushrooms: You can use dried or raw mushrooms and cook them, or try using my new find, Frozen Organic Mixed Mushrooms from Woodstock Farms.

Nutrition

Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1154mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 3mg
EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword sea vegetable recipes
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