Subtitle “the most creamy delicious lentils ever”, this miso lentil soup is served with pan-roasted sweet corn and zucchini, and topped with fresh herbs for a meal that tastes summery but is satisfying enough for the colder months too! The recipe is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and can be soy-free.
I spent a good portion of this past weekend up in central Pennsylvania helping race crew for my incredible friend Eric who ran a ONE HUNDRED MILE race, successfully completing it after hours upon hours of highly technical trails. I got to tag along for part of the course as a pacer!
After about 9 hours of running in the summer heat I was craving everything salty and calorie-dense. So as soon as my legs started working again (not that I can even complain – it’s not like I ran 100 miles), I whipped up another batch of my miso lentil soup because I just knew it would hit the spot. And now I have finally photographed it to share it with you today!
These lentils are super umami thanks to a few tricks of mine:
- Use an entire onion and take some time to get it nice and brown before adding the other ingredients.
- Deglaze the pan with wine.
- Stir in miso paste and almond butter at the end so that they don’t interfere with the lentils’ cooking and the bright flavor of the miso isn’t boiled away.
With summer produce at its finest, I had no choice but to add some beautiful crisp-tender local corn and zucchini (courgette) to bring everything together. An addition so lovely that I’ll probably do it every time from now on!
You may have a very reasonable question: Why do so many of my recent recipes use almond butter? (Spicy almond butter noodles; wild rice burgers; vegan pimento cheese…) Answer: this is what happens when you make impulse purchases at Costco. I probably don’t need to say anything more than that…
To make this miso lentil soup, you can use most types of lentils. I don’t recommend red lentils, though; they’ll fall apart. Feel free to experiment with different types of miso paste. If you use a darker miso, reduce the amount to start.
Also, I usually like my soups nice and thick. So this might look like more of a miso-y lentil stew. Add more vegetable broth for a proper soup :).
For even more variations, add greens like Swiss chard or kale; or spinach wilted in at the end. Switch up the fresh tarragon for basil or parsley, or fried sage if you’re feeling fancy.
Sweet Corn Miso Lentil Soup
For the pan-roasted zucchini and sweet corn:
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 ears corn kernels removed from the cob
- 2 zucchini diced
- salt and pepper
- freshly-squeezed lemon juice (lime juice also works)
For the miso lentil soup:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 and 1/2 cups green or brown lentils rinsed and drained
- 6 tbsp white or yellow miso
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh tarragon (optional, for serving) (or use other herbs like basil or parsley)
For the miso lentil soup:
- Note: I recommend slicing up the corn kernels before starting the soup, just because then you can stick the corn cobs into the lentils while they cook for even more flavor! Waste not, want not.
- In a stock pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned.
- Add the garlic and a sprinkle of salt, and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the white wine and stir, scraping any onion-y bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, and the leftover corn cobs if using; reduce to a steady simmer and cover the pan. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender. (In the meantime, you can make the corn and zucchini mixture).
- Reduce the heat to low and uncover the pan. (If you desire a thicker soup, add more broth now). Stir in the miso and almond butter. You may need to mash up the miso with your stirring utensil in order to incorporate it smoothly into the lentils. Cook just until everything is hot, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the pan-fried sweet corn and zucchini:
- In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the corn kernels with a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir. Add the zucchini and stir well. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the corn and zucchini are crisp-tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Serve the miso lentil soup and sauteed sweet corn mixture together in a bowl, topped with fresh herbs if desired.
Some other tasty recipes from my site that feature lentils!