Recipe: Purifying Daikon Soup

This recipe will warm you up on a chilly night, and only takes one pot to make.

Daikon soup

Photo by Emily McLaughlin

As winter presses on, soups and stews are top-of-mind. This vegetarian soup stars the detoxifying daikon radish, a winter vegetable that looks just like a large, white carrot.

This daikon soup recipe boasts some serious cleansing properties. Enzymes in the radish are much like those found in the human digestive system: They help the kidneys process waste and help the body eliminate toxins through the digestive tract. Ginger, miso, and dark, leafy greens also help purify the body.

Bonus: This is a one pot meal.

Serves 4 to 5

1 block of firm tofu (15-18 oz.), cut into bite-sized cubes
2 tsp sesame oil or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 Tbsp ginger, grated
1 small to medium leek, sliced up to the light green section
3 large carrots, cut into small half circles
¼ daikon radish, cut into half circles
6 cups water
2 Tbsp miso paste (light or dark)
3 cups kale, chopped

For serving

¼ daikon radish, grated
2 Tbsp scallions, chopped thin
Additional grated ginger


Start by draining and rinsing the tofu, and ridding it of excess water. Find a guide here.

In large soup pot, heat 1 tsp of sesame oil over medium heat. Cook the garlic, ginger, and leek until fragrant. Add the carrot and sliced daikon. Toss to get a light sear on the veggies. Add the water to the pot and bring it to a boil for two minutes.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the tofu. Next, add the miso, one tablespoon at a time. To make sure it dissolves, place a tablespoon of paste on a ladle or spoon and hold it just under the surface of the water. Take another utensil and stir the miso paste atop the spoon to dissolve. Repeat with the remaining paste.

Last, add the kale (or another dark, leafy green) to the pot. Your soup is ready to serve when the kale wilts and turns bright green.

For serving, add raw grated daikon, chopped scallions, and additional ginger, if desired. If you are looking to add a grain to this dish, try quinoa or brown rice. Chicken or turkey, cooked ahead of time with salt and pepper, could also be used instead of tofu.