Butternut-Miso Soup with Coconut

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Butternut is such a stereotypical Fall food, but sometimes stereotypes are there for a reason.  Am I right?  Butternut is amazing.  I love it mixed into creamy risotto, embedded in delicate ravioli, roasted with herbs like rosemary or sage, but mostly, I love it in soup.  This recipe is different from the traditional butternut squash soups you see this time of year.  It is made with miso broth, fresh ginger, cayenne and coconut milk.

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The hardest part about making butternut squash soup of any kind is prepping the butternut.  It’s worth it though, I promise.  Get smallish butternuts so you’re not left wrangling a large one, which is more difficult in my experience.  A smaller one will make it easier to slice off both ends, peel, then halve the squash before removing the seeds and cubing the butternut.  It’s a little messy…

P1050201But that’s OK because everything else about this dish is simple.  White miso has a delicate, salty flavor and when you put the paste into simmering water, you’ll instantly think you’re about to make miso soup, which I might do another time.  However, adding the butternut with sauteed onions and fresh spices makes this soup rich and unique.

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This is pretty much all that’s in the soup.  Once the prep is done, it’s just a matter of letting everything cook before you puree and enjoy.

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Depending on how much cayenne you like (I typically prefer a lot) you can adjust how much coconut milk you add.  This is full fat coconut milk and you need it, trust me!  Not only is it beautiful, but it cools down the soup just enough — both in heat from the cayenne and in actual temperature if you choose to eat this soup the minute it is ready.  I packed this for lunch the next day and added chopped avocado.  Phenomenal!  You could also garnish your soup with fresh micro greens or herbs for color, but it’s great on its own, too!

Butternut Squash Soup with Miso and Coconut, from Food52

  • Olive oil
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons, plus one teaspoon white miso (I used this one)
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add less or more depending on your heat preference. Even 1/2 teaspoon will provide a generous kick!)
  • One 3-pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used two smaller butternuts)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (save some for garnishing)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  1. Make your miso stock.  Put 4 cups water into a saucepan and heat to a simmer.  Whisk remaining 1/2 cup water with the miso.  Pour into simmering water.  Bring everything to a simmer, careful not to let it boil.
  2. In a separate, large pot pour a few tablespoons olive oil in, and once it is hot, add the onion and cook until it is translucent.  Then stir in the ginger, cumin and cayenne.  Toast spices for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Deglaze with a ladle-full of miso stock.
  3. Add the cubed butternut squash, some salt and mix to combine.  Cook for a minute or so, then add the remaining miso stock.  Simmer until the squash is super soft, about 25 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and let soup cool slightly.  Use a food processor or hand-held blender to puree soup.  The liquid will be hot, so be careful!
  5. Once the soup is pureed, return it to the pot.  Stir in 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  6. Serve with another swirl of coconut milk.  Fresh herbs or avocado are also fantastic.  And bread.  Always bread!

This will keep in the fridge for about a week.  You can also freeze this soup and reheat it later on the stove.

 

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