I woke up to snow this morning in Seattle. Snow is a rare event here and one that always makes me feel like something special is happening. During a long walk this morning, my creative juices got flowing and I created this snowball soup as soon as I returned home.
Both sweet white miso and chickpea miso add a light sweet flavor that will compliment the cauliflower, so feel free to use either one. Remember to go light on the miso for young children, whose bodies are strongly affected by too much salt. For adults, add a little more miso, or a spoonful of sauerkraut, after children have been served. For children, I use 1/2 tsp or less of miso per cup of water. Adults can use up to 1 tsp of miso per cup of water. South River Miso and Miso Master are decent brands that are made in the US and can be found in many natural food stores. I used South River Sweet White Miso for this soup and I also love their Chickpea Miso.
Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables and it always reminds me of snowballs. When cutting the cauliflower, try to keep the round florets intact as much as possible to mimic a snowball shape. I cut the carrots into little snowman nose triangles. You may think of other snow themed vegetables to add as well. Use your imagination.
This soup is fabulous with a little added corn for sweetness and garnished with fried bread cubes or with my easy dumplings. I left the corn out this time because it didn’t quite fit my snow theme.
If you have a child who doesn’t mind eating wakame, remove it from the soup, chop into small pieces and then add it back in. Otherwise, leave it whole so it can be removed easily before serving.
6 cups water
3″ piece of wakame
2-3 Tbsp minced onion
1 1/2 cups small, bite-sized cauliflower snowballs
1/3 cup thin, carrot triangles, half of a small carrot cut into rounds and then 8 triangles per round
1 Tbsp sweet white or chickpea miso (unpasteurized is best)
chopped parsley or green onion for garnish (or other fresh garnish your child might like)
In a medium size pot, bring the water, wakame and onion to a simmer.
Add the cauliflower. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Add the carrots. Let simmer for a few minutes more.
Spoon a small amount of the liquid into a bowl. Add the miso and stir to dissolve. Add back into the soup and let simmer very lightly for a few minutes to activate the miso.
Ladle into soup bowls and serve with garnish on top. This is also the time to add the dumplings or fried bread cubes if using.
We all need those recipes that satisfy a broad range of different tastes and ages. This is one to take note of. Everyone I know loves this soup, including adults, teenagers and 3-year olds. It’s easy to make, but has a lovely mix of flavors and is a step up from a more traditional lentil soup.
This recipe is also the first time I came across adding puréed beans to a soup. The combination of whole lentils with puréed garbanzo beans is brilliant. The idea lends itself to all sorts of combinations and is especially helpful for vegan families trying to add creaminess to soups and other dishes. I think puréed white beans would add a yummy, mild creaminess to a lot of different soups.
One think to adjust in this recipe is the amount and spiciness of the curry powder. I tone it down for most children. Curry powders can vary in spiciness, too, so taste yours before adding the full amount or add more if you wish.
I usually prepare a soup every day. Eaten at the beginning of a meal, it’s a wonderful way to get our digestive juices flowing, our tummies warmed up and prepared for the rest of the meal.
Millet with sweet vegetable soup can be prepared with quinoa or rice as well. Use any of the sweet vegetables such as onion, carrot, winter squash, cabbage and root vegetables. It can be prepared in about 30 minutes, with most of that as cooking time. I like to season it with sea salt in the beginning and a little shoyu near the end. You can also add a light miso to taste at the end instead of the shoyu.
Waldorf kindergartens throughout the United States serve a version of this soup weekly. Imagine that many children sitting down to warm bowls of nourishment. We have enjoyed this soup regularly for at least 12 years. It always brings back memories of kindergarten. Continue reading →
I just started cooking again for two 16 year old teenagers, a boy and a girl, and their family. One of the first requests that came in from the girl was for potato leek soup. These children aren’t vegan. I had a feeling that my idea of potato leek soup might be a little different from hers. The conversation went like this: Me-“What kind of potato leek soup do you like?” Her-“Oh. All kinds.” That didn’t give me much to work with. So, this soup was born. Continue reading →