There's something about a good soup recipe. Even better - a soup recipe that uses up all of those random carrots that I tend to find at the bottom of my vegetable crisper. I swear, they seem to multiply down there when I'm not looking. Soup is something I cook when I know I'm going to be short on time, but still want something satisfying, wholesome and soul-filling.
This soup reaches right down to the bottom of your toes, filling you up with a ginger-y warmth that tingles on your tongue. It's also a nutritional powerhouse. Lots of onion, garlic + ginger (all awesome for digestion and discouraging cancer), carrot (vitamin A), turmeric (stellar inflammation fighter), and miso. Inspired by this recipe from smitten kitchen, I decided to adapt it to my tastes by roasting all the vegetables first. This intensifies their flavour and gets rid of some of the moisture, which should prevent a watery soup. Most soup recipes can be adapted to a roasting method, and they all do better for it I think. Around here lately, it's been hot, and humid, and generally quite disgusting. But I still want to eat this soup - it's like a big umami hug.
roasted carrot and ginger ninja soup.
- this soup is delicious as is, but i also imagine that the addition of a bit of sweet potato, pumpkin or normal potato wouldn't hurt it either
- the sesame oil to finish is something you really shouldn't skip. this soup is also delicious served with a scoop of brown rice and some roasted (or fresh) tofu.
- i give two methods for blending the soup - my preference is for blending in batches in a blender, as I find that I get a much smoother, creamier result - but it's your preference.
one decent thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 large (~200g) zucchini
1 large (~160 g) onion
3 fat garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin)
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 c shiro miso paste
5-6 cups of vegetable broth or water
shichimi togarishi (Japanese seven-spice mix)
Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). Roughly slice the carrots, and zucchini (leaving the carrot peel on). Roughly dice the ginger and onion (no need to peel the ginger either!). In a large baking tray, toss the carrot, zucchini, onion and ginger with the olive oil. Do not salt at this stage - there will be plenty of salt in your miso and broth. Wrap the whole garlic cloves in foil and nestle somewhere in the tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until everything is soft and lightly browned.
When cooked, remove the vegetables from the oven. Squeeze the soft garlic from its skins. You can now proceed in two ways: (1) blend the cooked vegetables with the remaining ingredients in a blender in batches, and combine the batches in a large saucepan to heat up again. Or (2) place the cooked vegetables with the remaining ingredients in a large saucepan and blend with an immersion blender.
For both methods, adjust with more or less liquid to achieve your desired thickness. Warm the soup for a few minutes - it shouldn't have lost too much heat during the blending. Serve with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and a little bowl of shichimi togarishi on the table for sprinkling.