Pumpkin Miso Soup

I’ve had a recipe for Pumpkin Miso Soup open in my browser for two months and finally got around to making it this afternoon. I made a few modifications based on what I had in the refrigerator and loved the end result. Even my soup swap buddy would be impressed! (S, I miss you!)

This soup is hearty and begs for seconds. It was my first time cooking with harissa and miso paste so now I’m looking for new ways to use those up. Suggestions welcome!

  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (a little less than 1 cup uncooked rice, boiled in 3 cups water until chewy—20-30 mins—and drained)
  • 1 large or two medium onions, cut into ½ inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds or 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 lbs pumpkin (about 12 cups), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 ½ cup carrots, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 medium potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 cups kale or chard (about 5 large leaves) removed from stem and chopped
  • 1 tbs harissa (or more, to taste)
  • 2-3 tbs miso paste (use a dark brown or red miso with a strong flavor)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • Plain yogurt for topping, if desired
In a small pot, cook your wild rice until soft and chewy, 20-30 mins, drain, and set aside. While the rice is cooking, prepare the following.

In a large pot (5-6 quarts), add the oil and sauté the onion and carrots over a medium high heat until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the cumin seeds and continue to sauté another five minutes. If the cumin seeds start to pop, turn the heat down.

Add the pumpkin and potatoes and cover with water (use vegetable stock, or part stock and water if you prefer). Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the pumpkin and potatoes are soft. This will take about 15-20 minutes. The floury potatoes will fall apart in the water, that’s fine.

Using a ladle, spoon some of the liquid into a serving bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add the harissa and mix to dissolve. Add this mixture back to the pot and stir. Add the salt and lemon juice. Add the greens and stir to incorporate. The greens will wilt with the heat of the soup.

Using the ladle, again remove some of the liquid into a bowl (about 1 1/2 cups of liquid). Add two tbs miso, stir to dissolve (use a spoon to mash out any lumps) and return to the soup pot. Continue with this method until all the miso is incorporated.

You might want to begin tasting the soup after about 4 tbs of miso have been added. If you use any vegetable stock, or if you like your soup less salty, you might not want to use the full amount of miso. Also, different misos have different flavor profiles (see note below). Taste to make sure you like where your version is going.

Add the rice and let warm through. Serve the soup hot or at room temperature. A dollop of yogurt on top is nice too.

NOTE: miso is fermented soybean paste and comes in different varities/colors. Light or white miso is sweet, while dark brown and red miso will be saltier and stronger tasting. For this soup you want a dark brown or red miso. Light miso will be too sweet. Also, you don’t want to boil the soup after the miso has been added. Simmer is okay, but don’t go any higher.

One thought on “Pumpkin Miso Soup

  1. I’m behind on my google reading! This soup looks heavenly (and inspirational)! I might just have to try it on this side of the continent so it’s as if we swapped….

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