This simple preparation is Japanese comfort food, good for everything from a cold to fatigue to an overworked digestive system. Miso is a traditional fermented food, made for centuries in Japan, with myriad health benefits. To avoid damaging the beneficial microorganisms it contains, never cook it. Shiro (white) miso is made from salted barley, rice, and soybeans inoculated with a fungus (Aspergillus oryzae) cultivated on rice and also used to make saké and soy sauce. The flavor of shiro miso is milder and sweeter than darker types made with more soybeans. All miso is salty and needs to be diluted with water or other ingredients until the salt level is right for you. This quick and easy preparation is one of my favorite soups.
Makes 6 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes
Sometimes I wonder who was the first brave soul to tear apart a celery root and cook with it. To look at a celery root (or celeriac) and see promise is the definition of an optimist; it’s knobby, hairy covering gives no hint of the delicacy within, but it’s there, all the same. Sautéed with garlic, leek, and fennel, it yields a very pleasant taste that just cries out for a little spice--in this case, shaved nutmeg--to take this soup right over the top.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white part only, rinsed and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled and diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
6 cups Magic Mineral Broth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Grade B maple syrup
1 cup Crispy Shiitakes, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the leek, celery, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the vegetables begin to get tender, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, then stir in the celery root, fennel, and another ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté about 5 minutes more, stirring often. Pour in ½ cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the remaining 5½ cups of broth and another ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the celery root mixture, and adding additional liquid, as needed. Pour the soup back into the pot, heat gently, and stir in the lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add a pinch more salt. Serve garnished with the mushrooms or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reprinted with permissions from Clean Soups, copyright © 2016 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
I came up with this soup by polling my friends and neighbors to see what
they had sitting in their fridges. The whole point is that veggies no longer
in their prime are still perfect for a hearty vegetable soup. Here the culinary
color wheel came up with orange (carrots and sweet potato), tan (parsnip),
and green (kale, although you could use chard or spinach). Throw in a can of
tomatoes and a tablespoon of tomato paste from the pantry, along with some
quinoa and spices, and you have a scrumptious soup.
Kabocha isn’t as sweet as butternut squash, but it has a lovely, nutty taste. It
also smells like heaven when it’s roasting. Paired with parsnips, it makes this
soup a fiber powerhouse, proving again that fiber-rich foods are far from
I’ll admit it; I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to chili. Most people have one chili powder blend in their pantry. I have four, all of which I buy online at wholespice.com: Chili Powder Dark; ancho chili powder; Chili California Powder; and Chili New Mexico Powder. You get the idea. But my recipe tester Catherine was having none of it when I suggested this recipe include all four of my chili powder blends. “No,” she said. “I have one blend, just like any other normal person. Either this is going test well with one blend, or it’s not going to fly at all.” Fortunately, it achieved the correct flying altitude with just one blend—whichever one you happen to have on hand—but if you want all three (I can’t resist), look at the Cook’s Note. I love this chili straight up, topped with avocado-cilantro cream, while Catherine likes it best topped with poached eggs. Talk about a protein hit! And for a brain boost, there’s nothing like the choline that both black beans and eggs provide.