Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vegetable Miso Soup (with Kabocha)

In my organic produce box, I received a kabocha squash. Kabocha is one of my favorite vegetables and Japanese cuisine is my favorite type of cooking. Usually, you see kabocha made as tempura or simmered lightly with sauce. The tempura kabocha is then sometimes made as a sushi roll too. I haven't really seen it prepared other ways and one squash makes a lot of food. I decided to use it two ways, but I still have half a squash left over! I may just simmer it or make tempura after all. This soup is really great on a cold day. It is very healthy and simple to make as well.

Vegetable Miso Soup (with Kabocha)

* Prep Time: 20 minutes
* Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 2-3 strips kombu*
  • 2 cups kabocha, seeds removed, skinned, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 medium daikon radish, quartered round
  • 1 medium carrot, quartered round
  • 1 lotus root, quartered round*
  • 1/3 cup wakame, roughly chopped*
  • 1 cup spinach, stems removed*
  • 4 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced

* Recipe:
  1. Soak kombu in 8 cups of water within a large pot for one hour. Remove kombu when done soaking. This is your dashi or Japanese soup base.
  2. Heat water over medium heat. Add kabocha, onion, ginger, daikon, carrot, and lotus root. Cook until vegetables become tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the miso with about 1/3 cup of the soup stock. Mix well to remove clumps. Add to the vegetable soup.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients: wakame, spinach, and green onions. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
* Note: Kombu is a type of seaweed used for dashi. You can find it at many health food stores or at any Asian grocery. Seaweed contains B12 that vegetarians and vegans must supplement as it is found basically only in animal products. So, wakame and kombu are good for you! But, do take a daily supplement of B12 along with your seaweed. I used a fresh lotus root, but feel free to buy a frozen bag instead. Wakame is another type of seaweed. Lastly, if your daikon radish has a lot of good looking greens on the tops, use those instead of spinach. If it doesn't, try spinach or any other dark leafy green like kale or turnip greens.

Just some quick photos above of some of the holiday presents I made. The goodies are raspberry jam shortbread cookies, earl grey tea shortbread cookies, chocolate espresso oatmeal cookies, and cream cheese brownies. The recipes were taken from Vegan Cookies Invade Your  Cookie Jar. I also made a pumpkin pecan raisin bread that isn't shown from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. The other photo has the card I got from one of my favorite card stock websites, Fenderskirts Vintage. The other card I made through Shutterfly with a picture of my two blind rescue cats, Lucy (left) and Popeye (right). The canned items are all made homemade by me. They are pear vanilla bean jam, roasted macadamia nuts with fresh organic herbs, a soy candle in an antique teacup, giardiniera, and pickles.

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