Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Miso Carrot Soup with Sesame Oil

Thank you Smitten Kitchen, for bring this warm beam of sunshine to our cold, snowy corner!  When I first saw this recipe posted about a week ago I knew I had a use for the miso hiding among the other containers towards the back of my fridge.  Poor miso, you deserve so much more attention from us.

Soup is such a quintessential winter food, and this recipe has the benefit of not begin weighted down by heavy creams or a lot of butter.  The ginger and carrot is truly allowed to shine through.  And the bright orange color is a cheery reminder of the warmer days to come.  Ah, winters in Minnesota...

Adapted from Deb's Smitten Kitchen

The Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
2 lbs carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 - 6 garlic cloves, minced
1- 2 Tbsp finely chopped or grated ginger
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

The Process:
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic.  Saut√© until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and ginger. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. In a small bowl, whisk together the miso an a half-cup of the soup. Stir the mixture back into the pot of soup. Taste the soup and season with salt, pepper or additional miso to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish each with a drizzle of sesame oil and small mound of scallions.

The Review:
This is a soup I could eat for days.  I followed a suggestion on Smitten Kitchen that the ginger could easily be doubled.  I did so.  The result was bright and biting.  The fresh ginger danced across the palate playing with the sweetness of the carrot.  Havign doubled the ginger, I should have increased the miso as well...the deep earthly flavor was barley present, but grounded the soup well.

I loved how incredibly light the flavors were.  No heavy creams or a lot of butter to weigh the dish down.  I suppose it would have froze well.  But honestly I couldn't tell you. We had polished it off by the second day.

And the sesame oil and scallion garnish?  It will make your soul sing.

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