Elevate The Umami Levels Of Your Sweet Potato Soup Using Miso Paste

Highly underrated yet extremely luscious, sweet potato soup delivers creamy sweetness in every bite. As delicious as it is, though, there is a drawback in that each sip can start to taste a little saccharine. To bring out the umami elements and create savoriness in sweet potato soup, add miso paste.

Made from fermented soy beans, miso paste has a deep, slightly sour taste that brings a hint of savoriness to any dish it's added to. The paste augments rather than alters, providing umami to dishes that previously lacked it. Although miso paste and sweet potatoes sit on opposite sides of the sweet-salty spectrum, they possess an equal amount of depth. The paste bolsters the richness of sweet potato soup, enhancing the earthy elements of the root vegetable.

In her caramelized sweet potato miso soup, recipe developer Miriam Hahn relies on miso paste, a staple in her pantry, to bring full-bodied flavor and more. "[Miso paste] adds a salty umami flavor and because it is fermented [it] offers many health benefits, including being good for digestion and the immune system," she says. While Hahn uses white miso paste in her recipe, there are other types of miso you can use to balance the sweetness of the soup. For sweet potato soup that's slightly more acidic or leans more salty than sweet, try yellow and red miso paste, respectively.

You can add miso paste to other sweet potato recipes too

Miso's thick texture works especially well with soup, dissolving once stirred into the hot broth. However, the highly versatile paste can still be put to use in other recipes. Miso paste can be used to make a savory, creamy dressing for roasted sweet potato and tuna salad. When roasted, the vegetables caramelize in the oven, taking on an even sweeter taste that pairs incredibly with rich miso. For the dressing, combine miso paste, honey, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, and a splash of water.

The paste can also be turned into a delicious aioli for oven-baked sweet potato fries. When combined with roasted garlic, the pungency of both ingredients creates a perfect dipping sauce for caramelized sweet potato fries. After roasting the garlic, blend it with miso paste, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper for a rich, tangy dip.

For a dish that's just as cozy and rich as sweet potato soup, a hint of miso paste can bring out the umami flavors in a sweet potato casserole with bacon. While the bacon already adds a hint of savoriness, miso paste elevates it even further, delivering the umami flavor throughout the casserole. After mashing the sweet potatoes, stir the miso paste into the potatoes and bake as normal.