Monday, April 20, 2015

Miso Pumpkin Soup

This recipe from The Kitchn is a really great version of squash soup. I made it with butternut squash, because that’s what is most readily available at this time of the year, but other types of winter squash would work really well. I love that the vegetables are roasted before going in the soup (even though my version recommends roasting them longer than the original recipe did), as this gives them great flavor. I used a white miso paste that is very mellow and barely discernable. I didn’t have shichimi togarashi, so I completely winged it with Korean pepper, sesame seeds and lemon juice, along with green onions for garnish. The Little Prince can’t handle a spoon well enough to feed himself, but once he allowed me to feed him, he really liked this too!

2 lbs. kabocha, pumpkin, or butternut squash
1 lb. sweet potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, chopped
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
3 Tbsp. mellow white or yellow miso (gluten-free if necessary)
5-6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chopped chives or scallions
½ tsp. shichimi togarashi, for garnish (see note above)

Preheat oven to 450 °F.

Seed the pumpkin and cut it into small cubes. If the pumpkin is easy enough to peel raw, such as a butternut squash, peel it before cutting and roasting. (A pumpkin with a harder skin, such as a kabocha, may be cut and roasted and the peel removed afterwards.) Peel and cube the sweet potato as well.

Combine the pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and garlic on a baking sheet, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until the pumpkin and sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes, tossing halfway through. If you left the pumpkin skins on, peel when cool enough to handle.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the shallots and ginger and cook until softened. Add the miso and vegetable stock and stir until dissolved. (I recommend adding 5 cups of stock at first; once the soup is puréed, if you want it more liquid, it’s easy enough to add more stock, but the reverse isn’t true.) Add the roasted vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn down the heat if necessary to avoid boiling, as this can impair the flavor of the miso.

Purée the soup using an immersion blender, or purée in batches in a blender or food processor.

To serve, garnish with chives and a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi.

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