Miso Ginger Squash Soup
The winter weather here in Canada means warm socks, a warm sweater, fresh-baked bread and soup for lunches. But, as much as I love sweaters and warm soup, I’d like to point out it’s almost March, and I’m tired of the continued snow and frigid temperatures we keep getting here in the GTA.
This soup is one of my favourites. It’s warm, creamy, has excellent squash and umami flavour. I like to use Butternut squash for this soup as my secondary squash; however, the main squash must be Kabocha. It’s a Japanese winter squash that tastes like a cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato. The flesh is soft and creamy, making it perfect for soup. If you can’t find Kabocha, sometimes called Japanese Pumpkin, you can use an Acorn squash combined with a sweet potato.
I like to use White Miso paste for this soup, but you can use Yellow or Red; if you do, make sure you start with small amounts and add more as needed because Yellow and Red Miso have a deeper Umani flavour. However, I prefer the white as it doesn’t overpower the squash and ginger flavour.
Miso Ginger Squash Soup
1 medium Kabocha squash
1 medium Butternut squash
2-3 celery stalks
1 small to medium leek
1 small white onion
2-4 garlic cloves (2 if they are larger)
1 ½ inch piece of ginger
¼ cup (half a stick of butter - but I'm not gonna lie, I use more than that - closer to 1/2 cup - dare to judge me!)
6 cups of water
2-3 large tablespoons of White Miso
1 cup of heavy cream
Olive oil for roasting of squash and vegetables
Salt and white pepper to taste
Crème fraîche to top
Halve and clean your squash. Rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Place on a tray and roast in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender. Remove your squash from the oven and set it aside to cool.
Prepare your onion, leeks, celery, and carrots by dicing them into small cubes. Add a tablespoon of butter and olive oil to a large pot and saute your vegetables with a sprinkle of salt on medium heat until soft. You’re not looking for any colour.
Peel your ginger and garlic - and grate it using a rasp-style grater or whatever you have. Once the vegetables are soft, add the ginger and the garlic. Saute for 2-4 minutes until fragrant
Add your miso and saute until combined. Once the miso has cooked into the vegetables, add your 6 cups of water (more if needed) and let the mixture cook for 15 minutes on medium. You’re not looking for a rolling boil. Then, turn down your heat to low to simmer.
During this time, scoop out the flesh of your squash - then add it to your pot - stir to combine. Add your remaining butter and your cream, and simmer on low for an additional 10 minutes. Do not boil!
Now is the time to break out your immersion blender or slowly transfer the soup into a blender. Blitz until creamy, and adjust your salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with Crème fraîche and some lovely homemade bread. Enjoy!!