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Miso soup is a traditional Japanese soup made from miso, which is made from soybeans. Miso soup is made by mixing in miso paste into dashi, or stock, and adding ingredients such as tofu or seaweed. There is an endless number of ingredients that can be put in miso soup. Common ingredients include miso and seaweed, daikon, potato, clams, etc. There are also different types of miso soup depending on the type of miso. There is white miso "shiro miso", red miso "aka miso", yellow miso "shinshu miso", barley miso "mugi miso" and many others. Miso soup can also vary greatly by the region of Japan. Some regions use certain ingredients that people in other parts of Japan would be surprised about.
Miso soup has started to gain popularity outside of Japan, and has become more readily available. Many Japanese restaurants outside of Japan serve miso soup and miso paste is becoming available not only in Japanese grocery stores but also in normal grocery stores. In urban areas, it is not difficult to find tubs of miso paste and boxes of dashi to make miso soup at home.
Nowadays there is an even more convenient way of making miso soup: instant miso soup. The instant miso soup can be one of few types. One type is when the miso paste is packed in a small package and dried tofu or vegetables such as green onion is freeze dried like the ingredients of a cup noodle. The other type is one in which when you open the package, there is just a block and you just place that into boiling water which will dissolve the block into soup in seconds.
Miso soup has many health benefits, including being high in antioxidants, vitamin B, and containing all amino acids. It is also said to strengthen the immune system and decrease risks of certain types of cancers.