I had carrots leftover from making carrot mac-and-cheese earlier in the week, so I decided to try another winter carrot recipe. This Asian-inspired carrot ginger miso soup—via Smitten Kitchen—is not only warming, but packed with health-promoting ingredients—making it a perfect dish for right now, at the height of cold and flu season.
What’s so health-promoting about it? Well, Miso is a ‘live’ food, which means it’s full of infection-fighting probiotics. Fresh ginger is also said to be a cold and flu fighter. Garlic contains a natural antibiotic. And carrots are heavy in vitamin C, which might help if you already have a cold. As Deb of Smitten Kitchen puts it, this dairy-free, gluten free (depending on what type of miso you use), vegan and virtually fat-free soup is “the very picture of healthful do-gooding. It’s about one cube of tofu away from earning a halo or at least being surrounded by singing cherubs.” [Just beware that with the vegetable broth and miso, it's a little sodium-heavy.]
The soup pairs nicely with simple steamed vegetables and soba or udon noodles (I did bok choy and buckwheat soba noodles). Just a word of caution on the blending step: Hot liquids in a blender will cause the lid to fly off and carrot soup to go flying around your kitchen. Do not repeat my mistake.
Carrot Ginger Miso Soup
2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 – 1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated ginger
1/4 cup miso paste*
2 scallions, thinly sliced
* I used brown rice miso; Smitten Kitchen used white miso. Some types of miso are gluten-free, others—like barley or rice miso—are not.
Sauté onion, garlic and carrots in olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
In soup pot, combine broth and ginger, then add carrot, onion and garlic. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes (until carrots are tender), stirring occasionally.
Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. [This is where I went wrong, and ended up with a wall and sweater full of carrot soup. I think it's because I transported the hot soup directly from the stove into the blender, and heat increases pressure. I would recommend letting the soup cool a little bit first, and then heating back up when you add the miso. Or try these instructions for blending hot soup without it exploding.]
In a small cup or bowl, whisk together the miso an a half-cup of the pureed soup. Stir the miso mix back into the pot of soup. Season with salt, pepper, additional miso or additional ginger to taste.
Once soup is in bowls, top with scallions. Smitten Kitchen also recommends a drizzle of sesame oil.