Like in much of the country, last weekend was a weather mess here in Oregon. It’s been about ten days since the ice storm decended on us and unfortunately there are still thousands of homes without power. We had lost power a couple of times, once for about 30 hours and then again for another 5 to 7 hours. That was long enough to melt and defrost the food in our freezer. What a bummer, since I’d frozen vegetables from our summer garden and also some soups for “take-in dinner”. I used as much of the usable freezer food as I safely could, but when a container of soup tasted funky, I knew we’d have to throw things out. Very sad! Fortunately the vegetables and fruits I had in the refrigerator held up nicely.
After ice, snow, cold feet and red noses this silky-smooth vegetable soup sure warmed us up.
In case you are unfamiliar with Miso, it’s a fermented paste usually made out of salt, a fungus and either soybeans, rice or barley. There are many varieties available and you can find this paste in the refrigerated section near the tofu and tempeh. It’s rather salty, but has a unique taste and is considered very healthy. It’s very popular in Japan and all Japanese restaurants serve some version of miso soup. If you’re vegetarian though, you might ask if the soup contains a dashi ( a type ofJapanese broth) made from kelp, a seaweed and bonito, a dried fish.
Silky-Smooth Vegetable Soup
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 or 2 leeks, washed and sliced
- about 5 or 6 carrots, sliced
- 1 or 2 parsnips, sliced
- several cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- vegetable broth or water
- a little soy sauce
- about a 1/4 cup of miso, preferably white
- fresh lemon juice
- salt if needed
- coarsely ground black pepper
In a large soup pot heat a little olive oil over medium high heat.
Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes.
Next add the garlic, carrots, leeks and parsnips.
Now add the cauliflower and potato.
Stir again and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the broth or water to cover the veggies by about 2 inches.
Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, partially cover the pot
and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.
Turn off the heat and add the miso and a splash of soy sauce.
Puree with an immersion or in regular blender until smooth and creamy.
If the soup’s too thick for your taste thin it out a with a little more broth.
Squeeze a little lemon juice into the soup and then taste. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
When you reheat the soup bring it to a very gentle simmer.
Miso loses its health benefits if you boil it at high heat.
Serve with splash of soy sauce and some coarsely ground black pepper.