Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Miso-Carrot Soup

Winter 2012 028

We're back to it. Eating our vegetables, buying less stuff, spending more time with people we love. The sparkle of New Year's has worn off, and we're left with clouds and cold, sweaters and snow. How are your resolutions faring?

I am so excited about the food I've been eating lately. So many vegetables, roasted, braised, and sauteed, dressed merrily in herbs and spices, and dancing with citrus. It may be grey and dreary outside, but there is no shortage of color in the kitchen. Carrots! Beets! Blood oranges! Grapefruit!

Winter 2012 022

beet and blood orange salad

Treat yourself to a really great lunch of miso-carrot soup and this beet salad, and then use the energy boost to power through a productive afternoon! All those fruits and veggies combine to give you superpowers that no rain/snow mix could dampen. Go forth and do great things!

p.s. Did you know that you can get ten pounds of organic carrots for just under $7 at Costco? Crazy deal.

p.p.s. If you make this salad and pack it for lunch, make double-triple sure the container it's in can't leak. The inside of my lunchbox was fuchsia for a day.

Miso-Carrot Soup
adapted from smitten kitchen

I used ginger-chicken broth in this soup, because I had it leftover, and wasn't a huge fan of it on its own, but vegetable broth is perfect as well. Make sure to choose a low-sodium version if you're not using homemade - the miso is pretty salty, and you want to be able to control the seasoning yourself.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups low-sodium broth
1/4 cup red miso paste
juice of 1 lemon

toasted sesame oil and roughly chopped parsley or cilantro, to finish

Place the oil in a large Dutch oven and heat over medium flame.  Add carrots, onion, and garlic, and saute until onions are translucent, about ten minutes. Add broth and ginger, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender, or use an immersion blender. Ladle a small amount of soup into a small bowl, and whisk in the miso paste.  Whisk miso mixture and lemon juice into soup and taste, adding salt, pepper, or more miso if necessary. Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.

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