My first 18 years of life living in Japan, I had miso soup at least once a day, sometimes more. There was ALWAYS miso soup available in the mornings at my house. My mom wouldn't let me go to school until we eat something. My brother had a hard time eating first thing in the morning. That was never an issue for me. Mom made rice balls for my brother to eat on a train to his high school. So, rice balls may be his comfort food. Mom blended 2 kinds of miso (red and white) and used that for her soup (and I believe she still does).
One miso soup that I still clearly remember is the one my midwife made while I was in labor, that's more than 10 years ago. My labor was hard and long. I was so tired and hungry, which I didn't realize until I had one sip/bite of this soup. I've never had celery or carrots in my miso soup, it's not traditional. The flavor of the soup was amazing: sweet, warm, and, well, I guess comforting. I felt my body was absorbing the soup quickly and moistening my entire body like I was a dried up sponge. I guess I was dehydrated. It was so tasty. It's beyond words!
The other night, my husband came home from painting a mural (he is an artist). Assuming he was going to have dinner out, I didn't make dinner for him. I checked inside of my fridge and quickly chopped up garlic, onion, scallion, and peas from our garden. Boiled them with a piece of dried shiitake mushroom. Towards the end, I threw in tofu cubes, dried wakame seaweed and frozen corn, then dissolved miso paste.
Miso soup is easy and quick to make. As you have read, you can threw just about anything in miso soup. I grew up with very simple ones like tofu and wakame. Some put tons of veggies.
Miso soup is not only yummy, but also healthy for you (well, not for those allergic to soy). Many studies show that miso intake reduces risks of breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer, and protection from radiation. It also strengthens the immune system, and high in antioxidant activity, which gives its anti-aging properties. Yay!