Miso Squash Soup
Craving something warm but a little heartier than miso soup? This soup could just do the trick! It's an asian twist on a traditional squash soup recipe and it so perfectly captures sweet, sour, and salty all in one bowl. This restaurant-quality soup also suits many dietary restrictions - it's gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan. I've paired mine with a green salad and some protein to make it a meal. With all of the heavy meals and extra holiday treats that tend to happen at this time of year, a weeknight soup and salad meal really feels good.
I decide to switch it up from my usual go to - Curried Butternut Squash Soup, and although the curried soup is still one of my all time faves, this soup didn't disappoint! I modified the recipe from Fool Proof Living (A beautiful blog).
The original recipe calls for Kabocha squash, but any fall squash should work fine (except spaghetti of course). I've used butternut and it was delicious!
Miso is a staple in Japanese cooking and is big in that umami flavour that makes Japanese food so delicious. Umami is savoury - the fifth flavour, along with sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. If you haven't tried miso before you really should! It's an amazingly versatile ingredient that adds a lot of flavour and depth to the right dishes. Miso is a fermented soybean or chickpea paste, and fermented = gut friendly! Fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, and yogurt have gained a lot of attention recently for their healthful properties. Provided these foods are unpasteurized, they provide a healthy dose of probiotics - friendly bacteria. Probiotics used in the fermentation process can break down food components, making them easier to digest, and can also contribute to our healthy gut flora, which helps keep both our digestive and immune systems healthy and happy! There are actually several different kinds of miso. Sometimes grains like barley, rice, millet or other grains are added during the fermentation process, changing the end flavour. For more information on types of miso, check out this post from Bon Apetit.
*If you have Celiac disease - be sure to check the ingredients of your miso - not all are gluten-free! Watch out for gluten-containing ingredients like barley
Miso is a delicate ingredient, so it shouldn't ever be boiled into soup. This is why the instructions in this recipe tell you to ladle out a portion of soup and stir in the miso, then add it back to the pot at the end of cooking.
- Large Pot
- Immersion blender or good blender (like Vitamix/Blendtech)
- Baking sheets (I use stone sheets so I can skip the parchment paper step)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Ladle (for serving)
- Knife and cutting board
- Garlic press
- ~ 3lb winter squash (kabocha, butternut, or similar)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 5-6 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 heaping Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup Miso paste (check that it's gluten-free if necessary)
- Chopped spinach, pea shoots, or microgreens for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Peel and chop the squash into cubes or thick chunks and brush with oil to coat. You can also just cut the squash in two, scoop out the seeds and place it face down on a baking sheet to roast - it'll just take a little longer to soften. For some tips on cutting and roasting squash check out this post here
- If you have stone baking sheets use them! You don't need to line them. If you have metal baking sheets line them with parchment paper so your squash doesn't stick to the pan.
- Roast the squash in the oven for about 35 minutes, tossing once after 20 minutes. Cooking time will vary slightly depending on your oven and pans. You'll know your squash is one when it's soft enough to poke easily with a knife.
- When the squash is almost finished cooking heat the sesame oil over medium heat in the large pot. Add green onions and sautee for 3-4 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
- Add the crushed garlic and grated ginger and continue to sautee another minute or so. Add the broth and water to the mix.
- When the squash is finished cooking remove the peel (if you left it on) and scoop the flesh into the soup pot with the broth, water, green onions, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Ladle out 1-2 cups of fluid from the soup pot and mix in the miso and rice vinegar. Ensure the soup has been turned down to very low heat and add the mixture back into the pot.
- Blend the soup thoroughly using an immersion blender in the pot until the soup is completely smooth. If you're using a blender, blend in batches.
- When you're ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with greens! I like chopped spinach or pea shoots.
Nutrition Info is based on 6 servings per recipe (volume will vary slightly depending on the size of your squash)
- This soup packs 9g of fiber and 9g of protein per serving - not bad for a soup that isn't bean-based.
- 343 mg of Sodium may seem high, but many pre-made soups contain over 500mg per cup, often even as much as 700mg! To help keep the sodium lower in homemade soups, always use a low or no salt added broth. Remember you can always add more salt at the end of cooking if you think the soup really needs it, or let people add a little extra themselves at the table.