Butternut Zosui Soup

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What do I do for fun? I BodyJam, run from the beach to the farmers’ market, sketch on my iPad … and search for butternut squash recipes (maybe the most of all). If you’ve been reading my column, you know that I fell in love with Zosui soup after eating at Nabe. It’s the rice soup served at the end of your meal.

However, this recipe is better than the soup served at Nabe because it boasts whole grains, high-quality protein and generous servings of vegetables. Some hard-to-find items for this recipe include nori and white miso. You can find both at Sakura, the Japanese discount store on Irving Street, between 10th and 11th avenues.   

This vegan recipe is adapted from www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-edamame-zosui-with-ginger-150-green-onion-relish/

Ingredients (4-6 servings):

Zosui (soup part)  

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 leeks (light green and white stem, thinly sliced)
  • 16 ounce package diced  butternut squash 
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice 
  • 1½ cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons nori (seaweed and sesame topping) 
  • 3 tablespoons  white miso 

Relish (topping) 

  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • pepper to taste 


  1. Heat sesame oil in a deep pan or large pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add the chopped leaks and cook until they are wilted (3 minutes). 
  3. Stir in the squash, rice, edamame, vegetable broth, nori and 2¼ cups of water. 
  4. Cook soup over medium heat until the butternut squash is soft and easily pierced with a fork (~25 minutes).
  5. Remember to stir often, so the rice doesn’t stick. 
  6. When the squash is almost done, stir in 3 tablespoons of white miso.
  7. The relish: Heat grapeseed oil in a pan, add green onions, add minced ginger, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. The green onions should be bright green and not too wilted.
  8. Serve each bowl of Zosui with 1 tablespoon of relish.

Tips: When buying diced butternut squash, look for a package with bright orange pieces. Oftentimes, the pre-cut squash are not that ripe and lack flavor. Grapeseed oil is used because it can withstand high heat. If you don’t have it, use canola oil.

As you can see, this soup is easy and fast to make. It’s perfect to whip up on Sunday night for the upcoming work week. It makes a balanced breakfast, a packable lunch and a dinner that you can look forward to.