This soup starts with a quick version of dashi, a Japanese broth made from seaweed and bonito flakes. You can substitute vegetable broth.
Servings: 3 - 4
- 4 strips wakame seaweed, such as Eden brand
- 6 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup lightly packed bonito flakes , such as Eden brand
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 3-inch piece peeled ginger root, finely chopped or grated (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 pound carrots, trimmed and coarsely grated
- 1 to 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar (may substitute white vinegar)
- Sea salt
- 1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds, or raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted (see NOTE)
Combine the seaweed and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Use tongs to immediately fish out the seaweed, holding it over the pan to let the excess liquid drip off, and transfer it to a bowl. Let dry and reserve for another use.
Add the bonito flakes to the liquid in the saucepan; remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture steep, creating a broth, until the flakes sink to the bottom, then pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing on the bonito flakes to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the bonito flakes. Rinse and dry the saucepan.
Heat the oil in the same saucepan over medium-high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onion and ginger; cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the carrots and strained broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until the carrots are tender, about 12 minutes.
Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree to form a smooth soup. (Alternatively, transfer to a blender and puree, making sure to remove the center knob in the lid and holding a dish towel over it to avoid splattering, then return to the saucepan to keep warm.) Add the rice vinegar and salt to taste.
Ladle out enough for one portion and garnish with a tablespoon of the toasted pumpkin seeds. Reserve the remaining seeds for other servings of soup.
Divide the remaining soup among 3 freezer-safe containers. Cool, then freeze for up to several months, or refrigerate for up to a week.
NOTE: To toast pumpkin seeds, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the seeds. Toast, shaking the skillet frequently to prevent burning, until the seeds pop and brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl to cool.
From Food editor Joe Yonan.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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