Any root vegetable—squash, carrots, turnips, potatoes—can be used to make this silky, umami-rich soup from award-winning Japanese cookbook author Hiroko Shimbo. The intense, deeply satisfying flavor of the dish comes from its base of dashi, a kelp stock that ranges in taste from mildly saline to sweetly vegetal and has the unique ability to enhance the natural flavor of anything simmered in it. This recipe first appeared in our October 2014 issue with the story Spectacular Seaweed.
- 4 cups ichiban dashi
- 1 large green zucchini, roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow squash, roughly chopped
- 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
- 1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Sliced chives, for garnish (optional)
- Bring dashi to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in zucchini, squash, and onion. Cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add peas; cook 1–2 minutes more. Stir in oil and salt. Let soup cool slightly, then working in two batches, purée soup until very smooth. Serve warm or chilled; garnish with chives, if you like.