Friday, January 27, 2012

Carrot Miso Soup

My grade school music class experience was traumatic, but it did give me this gem (which gets stuck in my head every time I eat a carrot):

Donkeys like to munch on carrots
Carrots don’t like that at all
Hee Haw Hee Haw
Listen to that silly call

Anywho…January is National Carrot Month. Could there be a better way to celebrate than eating this delicious carrot miso soup and singing about donkeys and carrots? I think not.

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 generous tbsp. grated fresh ginger (Okay, I confess. We don’t even measure. We just grate it into the pot. Deb, the Smitten Kitchen guru, recommends 1 to 2 tbsp.)
At least ¼ cup gluten-free miso paste (We used South River Chickpea Miso.)
Sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

1. In a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, garlic and onion. Cook, stirring until the onion is soft and translucent (about 10 minutes).

2. Add the vegetable broth and ginger. Cover and simmer, peeking and stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender (about 30 minutes).

3. Remove from heat and blend. (We highly recommend using an immersion blender, but if you don’t have one and insist on making this soup before you get one, blend in batches in your blender.)

4. Scoop ½ cup of the soup into a small bowl. Add the miso and whisk.

5. Pour the miso-soup mixture into the big pot of soup and stir to combine.

6. Ladle into individual bowls and, if you want, drizzle with sesame oil and top with scallions. We had a minor miscommunication about the scallions so our soup was scallion-less, but I think they’d make a tasty addition—even tastier, perhaps, if you were to sauté the scallions briefly in the sesame oil before plopping them on the soup. (I added a few Mary’s Gone Crackers to my soup. I thought it was delicious, but I’ve been informed that some people think Mary’s Gone Crackers taste like burnt seeds.)

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