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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Japanese Umami Soup With Kale- oil-free

Japanese Unami Soup

It's officially soup season in some parts of the world,  and this Japanese Umami soup with kale is officially a winner in my opinion.

Japanese soups are light and broth-like. 
This Japanese style soup is a simple comfort soup made from common root vegetables and tender winter greens. 

Root vegetables are defined as any vegetables that grow underground. In this case I used carrots, onions, and garlic.  Combined with some baby bok choy and some curly winter kale, this delicious soup offers excellent taste and excellent  nutrition. I happened to have a zucchini in the fridge so I sliced it up as well. 

Chopsticks, Bowl, Bamboo, Cuisine, Asian

                                                                 Trader Joe's Mushroom and Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend 2.1 Ounces
Japanese soups often contain a fish broth called Dashi. My vegan version contains Umami seasoning (a dried mushroom flavored blend) that I get at Trader Joe's in the spice aisle. Umami means "savory taste" in Japanese. The spice adds a really pleasant taste to the soup.

Vegetables, Food, Carrots, Onions

A Real Comfort Soup
This is one of those soups that makes you say "ah" the minute you swallow your first spoonful. It is soothing and calming and just hits the spot! It would be a perfect vegan substitute for Jewish Chicken Soup.

The greens are tender, the carrots are sweet, and the flavor of the broth is comforting. It can be prepped in 10 minutes and pressure cooked in the Instant Pot in just 2 minutes or 20 minutes on the stove top.

Flower Sprout, Vegetable, Brussel Sprout

Kale and most other greens are the ultimate alkalizer and are loaded with valuable antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that are so important to a strong immune system. 

The Importance of Alkaline Foods
During the pandemic, I've being try to stay as green as possible and make sure that our meals contain lots of health giving green alkaline vegetables that contain lots of antioxidants.

Soup with Kale

Keeping our bodies alkaline is key to warding off disease
They say that disease can't live in an alkaline environment. So why not eat as many alkaline greens as you can for a natural immune boost! 

1/4 cup of vegetable broth for sautéing
2 cups of sliced onion (half-moons)
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 cups of sliced carrot
1 cup of sliced zucchini 
2 small baby bok choys, chopped in bite-size pieces
4 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric 
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of Umami (Japanese mushroom spice blend)
3 cups of chopped kale
Optional: 1 cup of heated cubed tofu or Shirataki noodles

Lightly coat or spray the bottom of an Instant Pot insert liner with oil. Add onions and sautee stirring for 4 minutes. Add garlic, carrot, zucchini, and bok choy, stir and sautee for another 2 minutes. Add broth, water, spices and kale. Cancel sauté function, secure lid, close steam valve, and set to pressure cook for 2 minutes. When done, immediately release steam manually according to the manufacturer's instructions. When all steam is released, remove lid and serve. 

Shared on Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen

Shared on Weekend Cooking at The Intrepid Reader and Baker

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. The information in this blog is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Always consult your medical doctor before making any changes in your diet or if you need medical advice.


  1. Soup is definitely a must for me in winter time. Love umami :-)

    1. It's my first time using umami flavoring. Do you make your own?

  2. This soup is definitely a winner! Pinned this post and am headed for Natural Grocers to pick up the veggies now.

    1. Thanks Nancy. We really enjoyed it as a nice comfort soup.

  3. Cream soups are our go to this time of year. Comforting somehow.

    1. I find most soups comforting especially this time of the year. Even in Florida, we get some cool weather.

  4. Okay, second time trying to comment. I'm not sure what I do that submits my comment before I'm finished. ;-) Anyway, you are the queen of excellent soups, Judee! We've been getting all these ingredients in our produce boxes so this recipe is timely. :-) I've heard that umami is an underused flavor in the U.S. I had no idea about this seasoning blend so I really appreciate you spotlighting it! Although I don't have a TJ's nearby, friends have been known to pick up ingredients for me or even mail them to me. Lucky me! I will be asking for this one for sure.

    Thank you!

    1. I tried umami for the first time and really love the flavor of it and it gives a plain broth soup a great flavor. I got it at Trader Joe's but I've also seen it online on Amazon.

    2. Of course, why didn't I think of that? It is available via Amazon. Thanks, Judee!

  5. Umami is the fifth taste accessed by human taste buds -- the other four and better known tastes are sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Umami taste is as you say one of the elements in mushrooms, but is also in meat, tomatoes, and cheese, especially parmesan cheese.

    Each of the taste buds reacts to a specific chemical. The umami chemical "represents the taste of the amino acid L-glutamate and 5'-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP). It can be described as a pleasant "brothy" or "meaty" taste with a long-lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue." (Wikipedia definition)

    The much-feared MSG is also a pure version of umami -- the so-called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" caused by MSG is not medically verified, and we eat the same chemical in many foods. Another pure umami taste comes from Maggi seasoning.

    I hadn't seen that TJ seasoning -- it's interesting.

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  6. Such a hearty and comforting soup.

  7. I do love the sound of this soup as i like like umami flavours. Also wish we had Trader Joes in the UK, as i often see so many delightful food stuffs on bloggers blogs it just makes me envious.

  8. I really love that seasoning in all kinds of things, especially soups. I don't get access to Trader Joe's items often any more but target started carrying a version that I just bought to try. Your soup looks delicious--light and nourishing. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  9. What a tasty soup!!....during these cold days soup is the winner!!......Abrazotes, Marcela


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