Roasted butternut squash soup with miso and ginger

Roasted butternut squash soup with miso and ginger

In Japan, miso has been respected as both food and medicine for centuries. High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso is a culinary staple in the Japanese diet and is used in soups, hot pots, noodle dishes, sauces, spreads and dressings.

Miso is made by mixing soybeans and a grain such as barley or rice with a culture starter (called Koji) and leaving it to ferment and develop beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Studies have shown that regularly eating miso improves the balance of gut bacteria, helps digestion, and boosts immunity.

If you haven’t tried miso, or have a tub of miso in the back of the fridge that you’ve been meaning to use, this soup is a great way to nourish yourself with this delicious fermented superfood.

For this recipe we use white miso which has a mellow flavor profile that’s savory, salty and slightly sweet — so it really enhances the flavor of the butternut squash, which takes on a caramelized sweetness when it’s roasted.

Roasted butternut squash soup with miso and ginger
Serves 4
A simple, warming and nourishing Japanese inspired soup with sweet roasted butternut squash, miso and fresh ginger.
2 lbs (900g) butternut squash — peeled and cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
3 tablespoons shiro (white) miso
1½ tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 scallion — thinly sliced (reserving a small amount of the green part for garnish)
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
PREHEAT the oven to 450°F/230°C. TOSS the butternut squash cubes with 2 tablespoons of the oil. PLACE in a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes. TOSS the squash and cook for a further 10 minutes. WHILE the squash cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. COOK the scallion for 1 minute, then add the ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. MIX the miso with ¼ cup of the stock, stirring to dissolve. ADD the mixture to the pan with the remaining stock, soy sauce, and roast squash. TRANSFER the soup to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. SERVE in bowls garnished with the reserved scallion.