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.”

original recipes round-up logo

42 thoughts on “Rich and Creamy Potato Miso Soup

  1. I don’t think the cashew butter should be listed as optional. Nut butter is ALWAYS necessary. 🙂

    Sounds like a wonderful recipe – some warm food for the soul for sure. Hope you’re feeling better.

  2. OMG, Alisa, this sounds truly fantastic! I am making this TONIGHT.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better and that the procedure went well. And at least two good things came of all that pain–this soup is one (and of course the successful results of the procedure is the other!) 🙂

  3. I hope you are feeling better soon! Even minor procedures can be painful – and soup is the perfect comforting anecdote.

  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about miso lately. It’s been so long since i had it … I think I need to look for it during my next trip to the grocery store. This soup looks delish!

  5. Nope, I definitely don’t have one of those brains that comes up with stuff. I can alter recipes, but I never seem to just be able to know which flavours go with what.

    This soup sounds absolutely divine (and that’s coming from someone who almost never eats soup). I LOVE miso and love potatoes even more.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  6. Your blog is super. So are your photographies. They make me hungry. I have spent a nice moment when seeing them. Thanks a lot.

  7. Thank you ladies!

    Heather: I love your nut butter obsession 🙂

    Ricki: I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been!

  8. Ellen

    Wow! This sounds fabulous. The saltiness of the miso combined with the creaminess of the potato and the nuttiness (spelling???!!!!) of the cashew butter sounds like a divine combination. I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Great job!


  9. hmmm that soup looks….like it could be pretty pudding-like when it gets cold. Kinda like clam chowdeer!!! yummm

  10. i love miso soup and i love potato soup – what a fantastic idea to combine both!!!

  11. Mmm mmm I love soup!

    And yes, I do think about food and flavors and things like that…a lot. Probably too often, actually 🙂

  12. Cathy

    Thanks, this one’s a keeper….I’m a beginner at all of this….and something this good is so inspiring…I can do it, I can do the veggie thing!!!

  13. Oh my gosh, that soup looks so good — and it’s cold and snowy here. What a great idea to add the cashew butter. I never thought of that in a soup. Yum! Very creative.


  14. I love Miso soup, but never thought of making it creamy. What a great idea. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  15. ive never heard of creamy miso soup- it sounds so good!

    Kelly Turner

  16. thank you so much girl! you really outdid yourself!!!!! everything is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! i can’t wait to try some recipes in the book and those chocolate treats are INSANELY GOOD! thank you so much!!!

  17. how could I miss the post about the procedure? I hope all’s back to normal by now. sending hugs.

  18. ha, I just noticed the typo on my name. I’m an alien?

  19. This really looks delicious .. i love soups but i have never tried miso before .. but this makes me want to … Laila

  20. I love using in miso in things and this combo sounds wonderful. Thanks for participating in Souper Sundays. i just got the round up posted.
    Have a great week!



  21. This sounds like a great combination and it looks wonderfully creamy. I hope you heal quickly!

  22. This is seriously good! I would never have thought of miso and potatoes.

    You should enter it for Culinarty’s Original Recipe event.

  23. Chickpea miso? I’ve never heard of it, but I’d give it a try. This looks great.

  24. i love the sound of this and i’m always looking for more miso recipes.

  25. Sounds delicious!

  26. This sounds delicious. I’m casting my vote on no croutons required!

  27. Ellen

    Alisa – I can’t wait to try this soup this week! Thanks!

  28. This soup looks delicious. I should make it for my sister. She loves miso and potatoes.

  29. Congratulations Ailsa!!!!!
    You Won!!!
    Well done! Such a great entry. Your badge is winging it’s way to you as we speak 🙂
    Head over to Lisa’s Kitchen. for the March edition of No Croutons Required. The topic will be up by tomorrow.

  30. Mmmmmm, I made your soup today and it was delicious.

  31. Marjorie

    I just tried this recipe and really enjoyed it. I did add celery to the soup for a little “freshness”.

  32. Angela

    I made this tonight for my family, first time i ever used miso, they loved it! We did not use the nut butter, as DS is allergic, it was voted to leave some potato chunks in next time. It had been a long time since we had potato soup with all of DS’s allergies. Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    • So glad you and your family enjoyed it Angela!

  33. Harmony

    I made this for lunch today, and both my 2-year-old daughter and I are enjoying it. I did make two substitutions, though I don’t think either of them are major. I used tahini instead of cashew butter, and Korean dwenjang paste instead of light miso (we’re a Korean family and I couldn’t bring myself to buy miso when we had dwenjang around already). Because dwenjang is basically dark miso, I used only 1/2 Tbs. I think that was about right. The dwenjang flavor doesn’t overwhelm the soup, but it’s definitely still there. If anyone else makes this with dark miso or dwenjang, you might want to add a tad bit of salt to make up for using less of the seasoning. We ate it as it was, but a little bit of salt wouldn’t have hurt.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • Glad you enjoyed the recipe Harmony! This feedback is wonderful and greatly appreciated. I’ll be on the lookout for dwenjang myself – it isn’t something I’ve tried.

  34. This soup is gorgeous and so innovative! I love how you can just tell how velvety smooth it’s going to be.

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