Vegan Miso Pumpkin Soup

@stephaniedujour

Here is a squash soup recipe that is simple, hearty, and delicious. As with most puréed soups and velouté sauces, a good high speed blender is absolutely necessary. We highly recommend a powerful blender — the cashews, onion, squash and broth must blend into a velvety soup to make this recipe. Kabocha squash, or rather pumpkin (kabocha means “pumpkin” in Japanese), shines with golden flavor, paired with white miso. Top your soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of spices.

Miso Pumpkin Soup

INGREDIENTS

1 large red onion, chopped or julienned
generous pour of olive oil (about 4-5 tablespoons)
1/2 kabocha squash (pumpkin), peeled and chopped
1 large butternut squash (or two small ones), peeled and chopped
splash of sherry
1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth
1 cup raw cashews, unsalted
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds, unsalted
pinch of sea salt, to season
2 heaping tablespoons white miso paste
pinch of turmeric powder, to season
pinch of cayenne or spice blend (optional), to season
toasted pumpkin seeds, garnish (optional)
DIRECTIONS

In a large pot, sauté the red onion in a generous amount of olive oil on low heat. Allow the onion to simmer in its juices until it turns translucent, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally, until the onion has browned and sticks to the bottom of the pot.

Dash in a splash of cooking sherry (optional) and let it cook off. Pour in the vegetable broth.

Add the chopped squash to the broth and simmer on medium heat, about 20 minutes, until the squash is soft.

Once the squash is soft, turn off the flame and add in the cashews and sunflower seeds. Allow the cashews to soften in the hot broth for a few minutes until ready for blending.

Scoop out two heaping tablespoons of miso paste and put it in a Pyrex measuring cup. Ladle a little bit of the broth (without any cashews or squash pieces) and pour it into the measuring cup with the miso paste. Stir the miso paste until smooth.

Pour the miso paste mixture into the pot and stir.

Season and blend the soup. Blend in batches using a high speed blender. Pour the blended soup in a separate clean pot until all of the soup is blended.

Place the puréed soup back on the stove top and turn on the flame to low simmer. Do not boil this soup because the miso will lose its nutritious probiotics. Miso is a fermented food. Here we are treating it as a seasoning, however, what also makes this soup nourishing is the healing properties of miso.

Only bring the soup to a gentle simmer as you season it with turmeric, sea salt, black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne if you’d like a little heat. Season and taste until you find the soup has a good flavor balance.

Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds as garnish and crusty bread or nutrient-dense crackers. Flax crackers with vegan butter spread make this soup quite a luscious meal on a cold night. To save the remaining soup, pour into a container and save in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat gently in a pot on the stove, bringing the heat just up to simmer.

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