The miso and ginger in this Carrot soup bring a pungent taste, which helps offset the sweetness from the carrots. The soup is finished with a garnish of diced apple and green onion. Beautiful, flavorful, nutritious comfort food.
It is a few days after Christmas and we are all ready for some lighter and less substantial foods. In our family there are always left overs because my mother believes more is better, but I think feeling good after you eat is important and don’t like that feeling of being so full it hurts. One can only consume leftovers for a few days, then it becomes more of a chore than a pleasure and before that energy gets a chance to set in we are going to create something simple but delicious and as not to waste anything we are going to use up some of those vegetables in the fridge. Our pets are happy because the final remains of turkey will be going to them.
I love when you take a cultural ingredient such as Miso and use it in a traditional plate such as soup. To me fusion cooking is one of my favorite methods of preparing food, things like udon carbonara, garam masala ravioli, beautiful blends of culture and cuisine, which reflect my beliefs in life. Today I decided to use a Japanese ingredient that has brought acclaim to many a North American recipe. The ingredient is Miso, a paste made by fermenting soybeans with a bit of salt and a fungus called Aspergillus Oryzae, also known in Japanese households as Koji. It is used in sauces, pickling brine for meats or vegetables, and also mixed with dashi soup stock to make a dish called misoshiru, a Japanese culinary staple. High in protein, vitamins and minerals which brought it great success in times of feudal Japan. Some say that it was used as early as the beginning of the 17th century while others say it originated as far back as the 4th century in China. For me, while facts and history are important, I like to stay in the creativity of cooking and love the flavor that miso brings to dishes, which it has done in our dish today: Miso Carrot Soup.
With a load of carrots in the fridge and creative juices flowing due to a recipe we saw, and it being cold and wintry brought making of a soup to the fore front. I love the color of carrot soup, rich glossy light orange and that sweet smell when carrots are cooking, yum. I would have to say carrot is not Nicoletta’s favorite vegetable but with a few recipes on our belt, she is shedding new light on liking this root vegetable packed with flavor and nutrients. Whether in the back drop of a recipe like in a mirepoix or the star of the show like this soup, it always come to the table with many strengths and attributes.
I remember when I was a child and we would raid gardens, including my parents garden, favorites to pillage consisted of peas, loved shucking those sweet morsels from their shell, rhubarb which we dipped in sugar and ate, and my favorite pulling these colorful carrots from the ground a quick wash and eat them right away. Not proud of the pillaging but a child has to do what they need to do to get their vitamins and minerals, lol.
The miso in this carrot soup brings a slight pungent taste, which helps offset the sweetness from the carrots, a nice citrusy bite from the ginger nutiness and sweetness from the sun chokes which are a root vegetable somewhat like a potato in texture and ginger in look, and the familiar back drop of the mirepoix and vegetable stock help harmonize all the flavors of this miso carrot soup. Pureed to a beautiful smooth creamy consistency, velvety in texture make this soup luxurious and delectable. Each spoonful offers a plethora of flavors starting from the sweetness of the carrots along with the mirepoix, spice from the ginger, and that wonderful backdrop of fermented soybean absolutely lovely. Garnished with some diced apple and chopped green onion adds just that little bit of texture needed, and the green onion with the freshness of the apple combined with the soup make this unique and delicious pairing.
Nicoletta and I enjoyed this miso carrot soup immensely, one bowl would not suffice and the sound of the spoon scooping every drop of soup from the bowl was resounding. This recipe is not only good but also beautiful, sunny and cheerful to look at. So if it is a cold day and winter has you by its grips, give this soup a try it will bring some warmth to melt those chills of this cool season away.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 small sun chokes peeled and chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 600 g carrots, peeled, diced
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp miso
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 apple diced
- 1 green onion chopped finely
- In a medium soup pot bring vegetable oil to a medium heat.
- Toss in onions, carrots, celery and sun chokes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Saute till onions are translucent.
- Add in ginger, sugar, and sesame oil, stir well.
- Pour in vegetable stock, miso, and vinegar, and stir till all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Take off heat and with a Cuisinart (hand blender), puree till smooth and creamy.
- Gently place diced apple on top of soup.
- Sprinkle with some chopped green onion.
- Serve warm.
- Serving Size: 4 servings
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