It’s definitely Spring, but we’re still having some chilly days every now and then, and when we do, I always want to make soup.
This is one of my favorite easy healthy soup recipes…the Japanese ingredients (wakame seaweed, kabocha squash, daikon radish, and miso) sound exotic and hard to find but they’re really not– I found them at my local Hannaford supermarket.
Kabocha squash is very sweet and has a smooth texture I love. Like the other orange winter squashes, it is high in anti-oxidants and fiber. Seaweeds help to protect the body from environmental toxins, and they excellent for weight loss and weight maintenance. Daikon radish, too, is very nutritious. It is excellent for the liver and therefore for cleansing the body; it also has bitter properties that help with digestion. Miso is a fermented food that also aids digestion.
Kabocha Squash Soup
Makes at least 2 servings
*2 cups water
*1 handful (about 1/2 cup) of wakame seaweed
*1 kabocha squash, cut into cubes (no need to peel it)
*1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into cubes
*tops from 1 bunch of scallions, green onions, or ramps, chopped
*2-4 cups additional water, vegetable stock or homemade chicken stock
*2-3 tablespoons white or red miso (I like South River Brand Chickpea Miso)
*1-2 teaspoons Thai chili garlic sauce
*2-4 tablespoons whole coconut milk--optional
1. Heat 2 cups water in a pot; add wakame, kabocha, scallions, and daikon radish. Cook over low heat for about 15 minutes.
2. Check to see that the wakame is softened and the squash and daikon are cooked through and soft; if not, simmer 5-10 more minutes. Add the additional liquid. Because it is important not the boil the miso (boiling destroys the healthful enzymes), remove about 1/2 cup of the hot soup to a small bowl, and whisk the miso until it dissolves.
3. Return the miso mixture to the soup pot and stir to combine. Add the chili sauce and the optional coconut milk, and mix well. Taste and add more of these, if desired.
Serving suggestions: add thinly sliced fresh ginger and/or chopped baby bok choy or kale to the soup with the pumpkin. If you’d like to add some healthy protein to your soup, you can crack 1-2 organic, free range eggs into the soup, cover the pot, and allow to poach in the hot liquid for several minutes. Check to see that the egg is cooked through and then turn the heat off. You could also add shelled edamame (young green soybeans) or cooked sliced organic chicken or tofu before serving (I added some chicken to mine, as you can see in the picture above).