janet @ the taste space

Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup)

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on February 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup)

When I am stressed, I like to cook. Most of my meals are winners thanks to a great recipe base and a dash of creativity and experience. So, for me, heading into the kitchen is a way for me to turn off my brain and do something that gives me something positively tangible in the end.

The same with blogging. I use it as a creative outlet and a way to share said awesome recipes.

This will explain why I am blogging right now.

I kind of want to vent.

Toronto was hit with a bit of snow over the past few days. 30 cm of snow. I’ve experienced worse (60 cm overnight) and it could have been much worse. Toronto just has a hard time dealing with snow. My car is currently snowed in my parking spot. A day after the snowfall, the laneway still has a foot of snow for me to drive through if I want out.

Rob warned me last night, so I knew I wasn’t heading to the gym for my 8am weights.

Turns out that was the least of my worries.

This morning, my fridge broke.

And I can’t get into my garage. Both locks are jammed.

Of course, we planned for storm success by grocery shopping before the blizzard.

One plus for it being winter is that I have stored all the freezer stuff in my car. Friends have offered fridge-space in the meantime for our non-freezable stuff.  Although we are still working out how to move it over since our car is snow-bound.

I know, things could be worse.

So, as I wait for Rob to return home, I am blogging.

To share with you this delicious soup I made last week and is now chilling in my car. This is a great soup to soothe the soul, be it from unforeseen craziness or the howling winter winds. Definitely better than chicken soup.

I rechristened it with a more descriptive name: miso curry squash and chickpea soup. A broth spiced with black mustard seeds, turmeric, garlic and ginger, along with miso and kombu. Chunks of winter squash (golden nugget was my choice this time), shiitake mushrooms and chickpeas fill your bowl with goodness. Chickpeas were my addition, as well as baby bok choy. The baby bok choy was such a last minute thought that I photographed the soup before I added it. However, I ended up really liking the crunchy stems and leafs, so I included them in the recipe below.

I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did. In fact, I thought I did not like black mustard seeds, but this was fabulous.  If you like this soup, I also recommend these similar stews: Butternut squash, coconut and lentil stew and Plantains and cabbage with split peas. Miso-curry squash elsewhere: Red Curry Miso Roasted Veggie Bowl, Miso-Curry Squash, Tofu and Kale Salad, Miso Sesame Winter Squash and Tofu and Coconut Curry Miso Soup.

So, tell me: how is your weekend going? How do you like to deal with stress?

Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup)

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup)
Adapted from Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen

2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 small leek, sliced longitudinally, washed and thinly sliced
3 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, pressed, divided
6 cups water or broth
3×4 inch piece of kombu
4 cups golden nugget squash (~1 lb) (or your favourite winter squash), chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced) (I used dried that I reconstituted in hot water for 10 minutes, but fresh would be better)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1.5 tbsp miso (I used 1 tsp white and the remainder red)
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes (or to taste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 large heads of baby bok choy (300g), trimmed and coarsely chopped (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the oil. Add the mustard seeds and turmeric and stir to mix with the oil. Cover and allow the mustard seeds to pop, around 1 minute. Stir in the leek, ginger and half of the garlic. Stir and cook for another minute. Deglaze with the water.

2. Add in the kombu, squash, carrot, mushrooms and chickpeas. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are tender, around 30 minutes. If adding bok choy, stir it in, cover and cook until heated through, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and remove the kombu. Remove a portion of the broth and add to miso until dissolved. Stir in the reserved garlic, chili flakes, lemon juice and dissolved miso.  Season to taste.

Serves 5.

  1. So sorry that the storm hit you so hard. (You don’t want to hear that it’s pushing 60 degrees here in Atlanta, I’m sure! You’d get a kick how we deal with possible snow flurries and ice here—-people stock up on bread and milk as if they couldn’t survive a day without it…bread and milk (in my case, almond, is the least of my worries—it’s fresh produce I want/need!)

    The soup sounds fantastic. I’ve liked the chickpea noodle soups that people do, but the squash is an extra bonus (as is bok choy!).

    Dealing with stress: yoga, exercise, meditation, breathing, playing with kitty, reading a good nonfiction psychology book—-just finished The Antidote, which discussed how stress and even negative thinking is not necessarily a bad thing).

  2. This soup contains all of my favourite things AND it is “soup” so I get to eat it on my vegan green smoothie challenge :). You just made me very happy 🙂

  3. I find giving Janet hugs is a good way to relieve stress.

  4. soup would definitely be what I would want in those circumstances – sounds very trying – and what a way to make it hard to enjoy the snowy landscape (though I hope you still can) – I love brown mustard seeds but am less sure if I have had black and if they are very different – sounds like a great warming soup – good luck with the snow and the fridge and the garage

  5. I suppose that the depths of Canadian winter is the best time for a freezer to break down if you have a car parked outside. Ed’s parents lived all over Canada for a great many years, and whenever I comment that the weather is cold the entire family look at me and in unison tell me that I do not know what cold is unless I have spent a winter in Canada!

    Your soup both sounds and looks delicious, so many ingredients in it that tick all my food boxes!

  6. So bright and sunshine-filled–the color alone is enough to warm you up. 😉 Love the chickpea addition. 😉 Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.

  7. Ugh girl I’m so sorry! that absolutely sucks. but this soup must bring some happiness into your life!

  8. Hey, this sounds really good, satisfying and healthy ..and contains some of my favourite veggies :). I shall be making this some time this week. Thanks!!

  9. Wow you have not had a lot of luck lately 😦 At least the snow was pretty right? Did you see how big the flakes were?

    This soup sounds wonderful. Definitely bookmarking this for the weekend 🙂

  10. […] of all, thank you so much for your kind words about my refrigerator woes, and an immense amount of gratitude goes to my friends and family for offering to help store our […]

  11. Like you, I usually cook my own meals. We’re vegetarians, my husband’s from India and I want to know what’s in my meal. I use to shop a lot in Indian or other ethnic groceries for vegetables, spices or other things like those in this recipe (nice looking, BTW). We’ve just moved to the greater Toronto area and I’m not, yet, familiar with the ethnic shopping scene here. My realtor helped me with a list of some Asian supermarkets. Is there anybody who could recommend more, especially Indian, Pakistani or Sri Lankan grocers? Or other ethic grocery you really like?

  12. […] have become fascinated with Ayurvedic cuisine as of late. Mainly because the recipes tend to have an Indian slant that I quite enjoy. Not […]

  13. Oh no, sounds like you’re having a nightmare time of it! This soup looks gorgeous and great for a freezing cold day. We are finally seeing a bit of sun here but it’s still absolutely freezing. Thank goodness we’ve not had much snow. Even though it’s pretty I hate it as everything grinds to a halt here when it snows. People just can’t cope with it.
    I deal very well with big stressful things, moving house etc. but little stressful things like ruining my dinner I react very badly to for some reason. Not sure why. So that probably means I don’t deal well with stress. I do try and relax more these days by reading before bed. That helps.

  14. […] I picked out my top 10 cookbooks to move with me, but I may have to revise that list as I have discovered new favourites. Even more scary is that I have partially migrated to electronic cookbooks. It makes […]

  15. […] 8. Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Curry Squash and Chickpea Soup) […]

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