Each miso will produce subtly different results but brown and white miso paste would make fine substitutes. At a Japanese restaurant in Brixton a few years ago there's a fantastic sweet potato, simply baked and split open before being filled with the most wonderful miso butter. This soup is that potato in a vegan soup form, making it perfect for a filling, nourishing autumn meal.

Sweet Potato Miso Soup [Vegan]

Serves

4

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Ingredients

  • generous glug of light oil, for frying
  • 2 small white onions 900g (2lb) sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 pinches of dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1.2 litres (5 cups) vegetable stock 4 large spring onions
  • sea salt (optional)
  • 4 wedges fresh lime furikake (make sure you use a vegan version, if this is important to you)
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Preparation

  1. Heat a glug of oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Peel and roughly chop the onions and fry for 5–6 minutes until softened and just started to brown. Meanwhile, peel and chop the sweet potato into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Add the ginger and the dried chilli flakes to the pan and fry for a further minute until aromatic.
  3. Add the sweet potato chunks and the miso paste, stirring until everything is coated in the miso.
  4. Add the stock and turn up the heat to bring the pan to the boil. Once it is bubbling, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer for roughly 25 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender. Meanwhile, trim and thinly slice the spring onions.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat and use a hand-held blender to blitz until smooth. Check the seasoning (depending on which brand of miso you’re using you might want to add a touch of salt).
  6. Divide the soup between four warm bowls and garnish with the spring onion slices, a good squeeze of lime – don’t skimp on this, it adds important acidity to each spoonful – and a good sprinkling of furikake.
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