Doenjang Soup with Veggies

In Main Dish, Soup, The Basics by TinaLeave a Comment


Here's a nice easy soup. It's made with Anchovy Broth, some veggies that were past their prime, and tofu for protein. Traditionally, you'd eat this with rice and side dishes but I ate it for lunch with just kimchi and no rice. Lunch, dinner, breakfast (maybe not so much breakfast for most people–the smell is something only a purist would appreciate first thing in the morning); healthy, quick, nourishing.

Done and done.


I was actually working on another soup recipe the past couple of weeks with a newly purchased uber popular electric pressure cooker (it shall not be named),but it was an EPIC FAILURE. I had a whole series on pressure cooking planned. I spent close to $100 on ingredients, did 5 test runs, had to eat mediocre soup everyday for a week and a half, doubted my cooking abilities, doubted my ability to read a simple instruction manual, doubted my ability to find answers on Google. It literally kept me up at night, going over and over in my mind the steps I'd taken.

I just couldn't let it go. But with every batch–my plan seemed less and less attainable.

I ended up making myself sick. The last test batch I ate, I gave myself the worst indigestion. I was sick the next day, and I threw up. I don't know about the rest of you guys but I throw up with a lot of force, so much that it makes the blood vessels around my eyes pop. I look like a red panda.

Sorry for the mental image.. but it ended cute because now you're thinking of red pandas, right?

Well, I returned the damn thing, am preparing a post a review on Amazon (people must be warned!), bought a stove top pressure cooker (on it's way), made this soup, and felt better about myself. Onward and upward!


Ok, this soup. This is so versatile. I used a potato and zucchini because they were sad looking but usually I'll use only leafy greens. You start with a simple stock (in this case Anchovy Broth) add Doenjang for flavor, then the veggies and Finito!

A word on the leafy greens: we always blanch them first in my house. Why? Because otherwise it waters down the stock and it makes the soup taste too much like said leafy green, because I'd rather enjoy my soup than try to squeeze in every single nutrient. I think the nutrients lost in the blanching process is worth it here. I'll just stop making and eating it if I don't enjoy it and that makes no sense to me.


I can't help but feel guilty whenever I use swiss chard without the ribs. But the red ones just stain everything! It would've made the soup a real nice puke-y color and I think we've had enough of that here. But never fear, I'm gonna try something this weekend and if it works, I'll update this post with a link.

Looks so healthy and plain but trust, it's loaded with funky flavor.

Notes:  Use up your sad veggies here!

Doenjang Soup with Veggies

Makes 4-5 servings. Takes 45 minutes.

  • 1/2 of Anchovy Stock (recipe at bottom)
  • 2–4 Tablespoons Doenjang
  • 2 bunches Swiss Chard, ribs removed, chopped into big pieces 
  • 1 Zucchini, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 Yukon Gold or other waxy potato, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 small block of Firm tofu cut into 1/2" blocks
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • salt to taste

Prepare anchovy stock.

Meanwhile, blanch swiss chard in boiling water for no more than 1 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and squeeze excess water. 

When stock is ready, either use a skimmer and lower about 2 tablespoons of doenjang into broth so it's halfway submerged but skimmer is still holding it in and use a spoon to break it up into broth and toss spent soybeans; OR place doenjang in a small bowl and add about a ladlefull of broth to it. Break it up with spoon and strain into soup pressing with spoon to extract as much liquid, toss soybean bits. 

Add the potatoes, bring up to boil and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the swiss chard (when adding this break it up with your fingers over the pot) and garlic, give it nice stir. Place the zucchini and tofu gently on top, let it come to boil and cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and season with extra doenjang if you want more pungent umami flavor or with some salt for a cleaner taste. 

Serve hot with sliced green onions. 

This keeps well for about a week in the fridge. As with most soups, tastes even better on days 2 and 3. It usually doesn't go past day 3 in this house. 

Note: You're using half of the following for the Doenjang Soup! Either half the ingredients or make all of it and freeze the rest. You can just eyeball half. 

You can leave out lobok, and green onions but only if you don't have them and don't want to go shopping. If you're already shopping, add them!

Anchovy Broth Makes 7 cups of broth. Takes about 40 minutes.

  • 4.25 oz. onion; chopped roughly
  • 6 oz. lobok, chopped roughly
  • 0.25 oz. kelp, torn into big pieces
  • 1.50 oz. dried anchovies, poo removed
  • 2 green onions; cut into quarters

Add all the ingredients in a medium pot with 8 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to maintain a hard simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes*. Strain the stock and use right away or store. *If you're using the stock for a soup that also has other seafood in it, 20 minutes is fine. If you're using it for a vegetable or mainly noodle based soup, 30 minutes is better. If you're going to use store the stock, first let it cool and then cover and store in fridge.

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