Carrot Cashew Soup with Miso and Sesame. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

This creamy soup shuttles the classic carrot-ginger duo into a deeply savory, fragrant direction, with a taste reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite foods: Japanese carrot-ginger dressing. I stumbled on this iteration accidentally, but I sure am glad I did, because it’s going to be in regular rotation for me from now on.

My original idea was to simply stir a dollop of miso to a pot of pureed carrot-ginger soup for a savory, funky base note. (I have been on a kick of adding miso to my usual soups lately – it’s been a hit in chicken-vegetable, butternut squash and corn soup, so far.)

But when I sampled the pureed ginger-carrot soup with the miso paste melted in, it cried out for a touch of toasted sesame oil. Maybe it was my taste for the Japanese dressing surfacing, but whatever the impetus, the addition made me light up with excitement. So I ran with it, creating a salad-like garnish of grated carrot and sesame seeds dressed in sesame oil and rice vinegar and sweetened with a dash of honey.

The soup is rich and creamy thanks to the cashews that get simmered until soft, and pureed along with the carrots, onion, garlic and ginger. The miso is stirred in at the end, with a balancing touch of honey and the distinctively aromatic sesame oil.

Garnished with the grated carrot “salad,” it’s a nourishing soup you could certainly make a meal out of – something I’ve always joked I could do with that famously good dressing anyway.

Prepped garnish for Carrot Cashew Soup with Miso and Sesame. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

Carrot Cashew Soup with Miso and Sesame


This satisfying soup is deeply savory and fragrant, with a taste reminiscent of the popular Japanese carrot-ginger salad dressing. It’s rich and creamy, not from cream, but with cashews that are simmered and pureed with the carrots. Garnished with a salad-like toss of grated carrot and sesame seeds dressed in sesame oil, rice vinegar and a touch of honey, it’s a nourishing soup you could certainly make into a meal if you accompany it with a hunk of crusty bread.

Storage: Refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Where to buy: Miso can be found at Asian markets and well-stocked supermarkets.

Total time: 40 mins


Servings: 6 (makes about 8 cups)


1 1/2 pounds carrots (10 medium), scrubbed and trimmed, divided

2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as avocado or canola

1 small yellow onion (5 ounces), diced (1 cup)

3 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated

One (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (1 tablespoon)

2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) unsalted, raw cashews


1/4 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon honey, divided


1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/4 cup shiro (white) miso, plus more to taste


Using the large holes of a box grater, grate a few carrots to yield about 1/3 cup; set aside for garnish. Slice the remaining carrots into 1/4-inch thick coins.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Stir in the sliced carrots, cashews, salt and pepper; add the broth and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the grated carrots, sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Add the miso, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the soup, then use an immersion blender to puree it until smooth. Taste, and add more miso, if desired. (Alternatively, let the soup cool completely, then puree in batches in a regular blender and return to the stove to warm through over medium-low heat. If the soup seems too thick, add more broth, a splash at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency.)

Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the grated carrot mixture and serve hot.


Instead of carrots, try parsnip or sweet potato. Nut-free? Try pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds. Allergic to sesame? Skip both the oil and seeds.

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