Kristy is an expert at making things pretty and a former Associate Editor of Food52.
Unfortunately you need miso paste to make miso soup. Another option is using bonito flakes and kombu (a seaweed) to make a savory broth.
There are some dried mixes for miso soup -- good, but not the real thing.
Your favorite Japanese restaurant might sell you some. Make sure to inquire when the are not busy -- between the lunch and dinner rush.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
If you do not have a local Asian store. Check out your local healthfood store.
"Miso Master" is a very good brand which I find to be better than imported miso.
The Brown Miso is what I use for soup (although most do not use brown for the soup). I find it richer and very comforting in the winter months. (the brown does contain wheat tho, if that's a problem)
Miso Master is pricey, but miso is almost like honey in shelf life. Just keep it cold and put a wax paper disk on top of it, or a plastic wrap before sealing the tub---It can literally store for a year or more. Even if a bit dried out on top, scrape it off and the moist part is still good.
As for the stock--as mentioned, bonito flakes and kombu make up the Dashi.
However, at Asian supermarkets the Aji-Dashi 'instant' dashi is perfectly fine.
A hint: to make the soup..heat up the broth and put a tsp or more of miso in the bowl. Pour in a tablespoon broth and smash with a fork, then add additions (like tofu, mushrooms slices, seaweed, etc). and fill the bowl with more piping hot broth.
You do NOT want to boil miso as it kills some it's active yeast properties for nutrition.
You can buy it online. Miso Paste and Dashi are both non-perishable and can be delivered to your house. I buy the paste online because the one Asian market in my city that carries it is 22 miles round-trip from my house. The Tofu you can find at a supermarket, as most big chain grocers carry it.
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