This is one of those recipes that you will find yourself making all the time, and for good reason. It's just that good for those cold winter days when you really need something healthy, but warm and satisfying at the same time.
Growing up, there were some definite staples in my parents wholesome kitchen, starting with the always standing-in-as-a-seat-for-little-ones bucket of local honey, and a smaller bucket (tucked away in the cupboard) of salty fermented Miso. I've mentioned in my posts here before, but growing up we ate well, despite the fact that there wasn't a lot of money to go around for a family of four hungry kids. We were raised in a community of seriously-committed-to-their-lifestyle hippies, after all it was the 70's and early 80's, and my folks (along with many other likeminded folks) had left their Eastern Canadian roots to 'settle' on the West Coast. Settle they did, on a piece of land they eventually bought and built our childhood home on. Growing up we ate real food, the kind that I still eat today: lentils, homemade breads, veggies from the garden, and lots and lots of brown rice with nutritional yeast and Tamari. We also ate a lot of vegetable Miso soup....I can honestly say I never felt poor a day in my life.
This newer take on an old classic recipe is so simple yet totally delicious, all the while being filling, nutritious, and very inexpensive. Back then my folks would buy everything co-op style in bulk, often splitting up shares of things with other neighbouring families. Today I am grateful to have many options to find ingredients here in my city life, with nothing but the fondest memories of hanging in my childhood kitchen, perched on the honey bucket, having a chat while one (or both) of my parents made us dinner.
For this soup, I recommend a slightly darker saltier Miso - this is the one I used - but the beauty is they would all work. Because Miso is a fermented (living) product, be careful to not boil it too much if you can. This soup is perfect in a thermos for lunch, for using as a gentle re-set cleanse soup, or for simple nourishment while soaking in a night of Netflix on the couch with your fave blanket. It's nothing but pure comforting goodness ;)
Cleansing Winter Vegetable Miso Soup:
- 2 tbsp cooking oil, (I am using Grape seed primarily these days)
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 large rutabaga, peeled and chopped
- 1 small-medium head of green cabbage, roughly chopped into pieces
- 1/2-1 cup Passata
- 8 cups water or broth
- 3/4 cup medium or light miso
- 3 tbsp honey
The magic of this recipe is how easy and very simple it is. The vegetables included here are all readily available (and inexpensive) this time of year, and the key to soup success is cutting the veggies into consistently sized pieces. The cabbage makes the soup. You could use 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste instead of the Passata here.
Start by preparing all of the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large soup pot on medium-high and add the onions, cooking for 6-8 minutes until browning and soft, being sure to stir as you go. Add the carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga and cook on medium-high heat for another 5-6 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add the water and Passata, and bring the soup to a light boil with the lid just slightly ajar. Cook at a rolling simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook a further 10-15 minutes, until all of the veggies are tender and the cabbage is soft and wilted. At the end, stir in the Miso and honey, and stir well to break up the Miso clumps. It will help to let the soup sit a few minutes off the heat, 10 minutes or so with the lid on, to let the miso settle in and fully permeate the entire pot of soup. Stir well, and re-heat as needed. To serve, enjoy piping hot in a bowl or a favourite mug garnished with chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, or simply as is.