Rich and Creamy Potato Miso Soup

Winner of the February 2009 No Croutons Required Contest

Do you ever just think up certain flavors, imagining how they will meld together, and then create something delicious and new from the concept for dinner?  Really?  How do you people do that anyway!?

Well, while creativity sans significant trial and error definitely isn’t my forte, I literally impressed myself late last week.  After a minor “procedure” at the doctor’s office, I found myself in excrutiating pain once the anesthesia wore off – of course, I felt fine all numbed up at the doctor’s office, and didn’t think to ask what to take for any potential pain.

Sitting there waiting for the doctor’s office to call back and confirm that some good old NSAIDs would be okay, I was hurting too much to do anything productive, let alone put any cohesive thoughts together. But it seems shutting down that overactive logical part of my brain just briefly allowed the right side to see the light, if only for a moment.

Suddenly I thought, “I am really getting hungry; what could I possibly eat for dinner?” Yes, of course I could still think about food … so then, without any planning, that right brain piped up and said, “Doesn’t some creamy potato soup, spiked with miso and garlic sound great?”  Who was that?  That flavorful yet harmonious concept couldn’t have  possibly emerged from my uber-planned and over-calculated mind.

But it did, and before the ibuprofen (that I finally got the nod for) had time to truly kick in, I headed to the kitchen and without a moments hesitation, created this simple yet flavorful soup, using exactly the right measurements (for our tastes anyway) on the very first go! I suppose there is something to be said about not thinking too much when it comes to cooking …


This soup turned out perfectly rich and creamy, and was ready to devour just as I started to feel better. Now if only I can learn to quiet that left brain just a little more often without the physical anguish, I will be one fulfilled foodie.

Creamy Potato Miso Soup

Vegan / Vegetarian (optional), Dairy-Free, Soy-Free (use a chickpea miso), Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free

  • 1 Teaspoon Grapeseed or Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth or Chicken-Flavored Vegetarian Broth*
  • ¾ lb Potatoes, diced into ½ inch cubes (I used red potatoes, skin and all, but Yukon Gold would be beautiful in this)
  • ¼ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Cashew Butter (optional, but a nice addition for flavor and texture)
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Miso**
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried or Fresh Chives
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Heat the oil over medium-low heat, add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant, just 2 to 3 minutes.

Add in the broth, potatoes, and onion powder, and bring the soup to a boil. 

Reduce the heat to medium-low again, cover and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until those potatoes are nice and tender.

Place the soup and potatoes in your blender (may need to do this in two batches) along with the cashew butter and miso. You may want to let it cool for a few minutes, and make sure you secure the lid as you puree the soup until it is nice and smooth (lest some of that hot liquid go flying!).

Return the soup to the pot, add the chives and black pepper to taste, and heat it to your desired temperature.

Serve topped with wonton strips or your favorite crumbled crackers. I used some wonderful flour tortilla strips  (not unlike wonton strips) that were leftover from a dinner out.

* If you are watching your sodium, feel free to used reduced-sodium broth, I tested with regular though.

**Miso is sold in the refrigerated section of many grocers and Asian markets.  I buy a sizable tub for around $3.50 at Whole Foods, and it lasts quite a while.  It keeps for around 6 months (I believe) once opened, so it easily fits on the convenient frugal foodie list, and adds a nice jolt of salty flavor.  You can get several different types of misos, but a light soy miso or chickpea miso is what I would recommend for this one.

Yields: 2 Servings

Update: I just discovered the Souper Sundays Blog Event at Kahakai Kitchen, and am submitting this post!

Update #2: I am also submitting this recipe to the Culinarty Original Recipe round-up.  Thanks for the suggestion Christine!

Update #3: So many round-ups, so little time!  This shout out goes to No Croutons Required for their February theme of “potatoes in soup or salad.”

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