Recipe courtesy of Jerome Grant

Roasted Sweet Potato and Miso Soup with Collard Green Furikake

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Sweet potatoes are a must-have on my menus. This delicious root vegetable is rich in flavor and nutrients as well as cultural significance. Sweet potatoes were often sold by street vendors in Harlem, and these piping-hot nuggets on a wintry New York day were a reminder of home for the many Southerners who migrated north after the Civil War. For this miso-inspired take on sweet potatoes, I make a version of furikake, a popular Japanese seasoning that’s often sprinkled over rice or fish. In place of seaweed I like to use different seasonal leafy greens, like collard greens, to add a new dimension to it. Collard furikake makes a beautiful garnish for this golden sweet potato soup enriched with coconut milk.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Collard Green Furikake:

Sweet Potato Soup:

Directions

  1. For the collard green furikake (can be made a day ahead): Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse the collard greens and thoroughly dry them in a salad spinner or by patting them with a paper towel. Toss the greens with 1 1/2 teaspoons avocado oil and the salt. Lay them in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan. Bake until lightly browned and crispy, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool the collards on the sheet pan.  
  3. Heat 1/4 cup avocado oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and ginger and cook until they begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the fried shallot and ginger with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain.  
  4. Put the benne seeds in a medium skillet and toast over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Combine the toasted benne seeds, red pepper flakes and fried shallots and ginger in a small bowl. Gently crumble the crispy collard greens into the mixture. When cool, you can store the collard green furikake in an airtight container until ready to use. 
  5. For the sweet potato soup: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 
  6. Gently poke the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Bake on the prepared sheet pan until the juices on the pan begin to bubble and the sweet potatoes are soft, 40 to 50 minutes.  
  7. Combine the butter and avocado oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. When the butter melts, add the carrots, onions, garlic and ginger and cook until the onions become translucent, 6 to 10 minutes. Season with salt. Add the vinegar and miso to the pot and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes. Place the flesh in a large bowl and mash lightly. Add the mashed potatoes to the pot. Stir in the coconut milk and broth. Simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.  
  9. Blend the soup until smooth in a high-speed blender or with a hand-held immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve hot, garnished with the collard green furikake. Enjoy! 

Cook’s Note

You can substitute pumpkin, carrots or any other root vegetable for the sweet potatoes in this recipe for a different flavor profile. For spice lovers: Finish the soup with chili oil for some heat. The furikake can be also be made with kale, chard or any other sturdy leafy greens in place of collards. Kick up the flavor of your furikake by adding in umami from mushroom powder or bonito flakes, or add black sesame seeds. Can’t find coconut vinegar? Apple cider vinegar works well.

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