I will start off by admitting that I like carrot soup, even if I may be the only one in my house who does. When it is pureed to a velvety texture and spiked with plenty of ginger, carrots can make a deceptively luxurious soup. This version didn’t knock my socks off, but it has potential, should I care to revisit it and tweak it a bit. I would aim for a silkier texture and more depth in flavor.
Miso is a naturally fermented paste made from cooked soybeans, salt, and grain such as barley or rice. It ranges in texture from smooth to chunky; in color from pale yellow to dark brown; and in flavor from mildly salty and sweet to strong and very salty. The rule of thumb is, the lighter the miso, the milder the taste. This recipe uses white miso, also known as shiro miso. It is mild, and versatile – it can be used for miso soup, sauces, marinades and so forth.
Miso is very low in cholesterol, and it is a good source of Protein, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K and Copper, and a very good source of Manganese. It is however, high in sodium.
Carrots are very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and they are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Potassium and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Manganese. However, most of the calories found in carrots come from sugars.
Miso can be found in the organic aisle of your local grocery store.
Carrot Soup with Miso and Sesame (from smittenkitchen.com)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 regular or 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated ginger, or more to taste (it could easily
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, very thinly sliced
Heat oil in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and
garlic, sauté until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add broth and ginger. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
Puree soup in batches in blender, or all at once with an immersion blender. (I used my immersion blender, but am wondering if the blender might not have produced the silkier texture I was after. Maybe next time I might even force it through a fine sieve after blending.) In a small bowl, whisk together the miso and 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. (Miso is salty, so add more sparingly.)
Ladle into bowls and garnish each with a drizzle of sesame oil and small mound of scallions.