Tag Archives: Japanese

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that as we grow older, eating becomes more tiring?  First world problems I know but whew!  After this past weekend I still feel like I’m in a food coma.  In general, I eat pretty healthy throughout the year so I think my body just shuts down when affronted with so much fat and sugar.  I love pigging out over the holidays, but I was really craving something healthy.  This Japanese-inspired Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup was just what I needed after an overly indulgent weekend.

Over the years I’ve made every variation of sweet potato and squash: roasted, mashed, baked.   This holiday season, I really wanted to try something new.  Butternut squash soup is popular, but I decided to add sweet potato, to bring out the sweetness of the squash.  I had to keep this soup dairy free, so I used a bit of miso instead of cream for a richer taste.  Building on this Asian-inspired flavour, I included some mirin (sweet cooking wine) to add acidity to the dish.  For the garnish I topped with toasted sesame seeds and nori (dried seaweed) for a bit of salty crunch.

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Festive and easy to prepare, I loved this healthy, hearty soup on a cold, winter’s night.  The nori, mirin and miso can be found in the Asian aisle of a big chain supermarket, or at any Asian grocery store.  If you don’t want to buy a whole bottle of mirin, you can substitute for sake and keep on drinking this holiday season!

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato & Squash Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 " piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup mirin sweet cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp light miso paste
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 6 snack size sheets of nori dried seaweed
  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat sesame oil in a large pot or saute pan on medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until softened, about 2 minutes. Add squash and sweet potato and sauté 1 minute longer.
  2. Whisk together mirin and miso paste. Add to vegetables along with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
  3. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a toaster oven or in a small pan on the stove top over low heat.
  5. Serve and top with toasted sesame seeds and pieces of nori.
Sweet Potato Squash Soup

Asian Sesame Sweet Potato Squash Soup

What is your favourite holiday soup?  Let me know if you enjoyed the Asian flavours in this Sweet Potato Squash Soup!


This year I embarked on one of the most important trips of my life: Japan.  I was off to find my people.  I was also traveling with my boyfriend and his family.  The ultimate goal of the trip was to climb to the top of Mt. Fuji, and since we were climbing a little off season, we had to pray for good weather.  We toured Tokyo, Nikko, Hakone, Kyoto and Hiroshima with GAP Adventures and then spent the last couple of days on our own in Osaka.  Now what can I say other than this was the most amazing trip EVER.  I absolutely love Japan and felt at home.  I loved the big city vibe and style of Tokyo, the quiet shrines of Nikko, the food in Kyoto, the history in Hiroshima and the youth of Osaka.  We made it to the top of Mt. Fuji, where my boyfriend proposed by the crator.  The journey was surreal to say the least.  I found my people, and I can’t wait to go back.

Check out my essay on sushi here

Ramen with Duck - Tokyo, Japan No Me Ho Di - Shimbuya bar, Tokyo, Japan Horse Sashimi - Shimbuya, Tokyo, Japan Tosho-Gu - Yomei-Mon (Sunset Gate), Nikko, Japan Bento box - Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan Train to Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan We Are All Replaceable - Tokyo, Japan Shimbuya Station, Tokyo, Japan Harajuku Gals - Shimbuya, Tokyo, Japan Transformers Are Real! - The Gundam - Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan Shimbuya, Tokyo, Japan Shrimp Tempura Udon - Nikko, Japan Watchful, Waiting - Nikko, Japan Golden Touch - Nikko, Japan Tsukune - Nikko, Japan The Climb - Mt. Fuji, Japan Alone - Mt. Fuji, Japan The Land of the Rising Sun - 7th Station, Mt. Fuji, Japan Time to Rest - Mt. Fuji, Japan Traditional Sashimi Dinner - Hakone, Japan Traditional Japanese Breakfast - Hakone, Japan Astro Boy Takes the Tower - Kyoto, Japan Through the Sunset - Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan Mysterious Air - Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan Closing Time - Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan Kinkaku-Ji "Golden Temple", Kyoto, Japan Kinkaku-Ji "Golden Temple", Kyoto, Japan Rainy Season - Ginkaku-Ji "Silver Pavilion", Kyoto, Japan Seafood bar on Nishikiyamachi-dori - Kyoto, Japan The Memory Remains - A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima, Japan Never Forget - Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima, Japan Sashimi with Smoked Tuna - Hiroshima, Japan An Artist's Space - Senjo-kaku hall, Miyajima, Japan Descent From Mt. Misen - Miyajima, Japan Refresh - Shingon Sect Temple, Daisho-in, Miyajima Only Some Shall Pass - "Floating Torii" (Shinto Shrine Gate), Miyajima, Japan Ghosts - Hiroshima, Japan Kannon Hall - Daisho-In, Miyajima, Japan Hiroshima-Yaki (Okonomiyaki) - Hiroshima, Japan Rolly Polly Fish Eyes - Osaka, Japan Aurella Limbata - Osaka Aquarium, Japan Green Giant - Giant [Ferris] Wheel, Osaka, Japan