All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Kabu to satoimo no surinagashi / Japanese turnip and baby taro root potage soup

A gentle, creamy soup for cold days. This takes full advantage of the sweet yet refreshing taste of kabu turnips. Satoimo baby taro provides subtle depth in terms of both taste and aroma, and its thickening effect creates a potage consistency that is appreciated when the weather is chilly. Mitsuba's crisp, invigorating aroma highlights the mellowness of the soup.   

1/2 recipe:
37 calories; 1.4 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 7.7 g carbohydrate; 5.9 g net carbs; 175 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.8 g fiber

2-3 kabu Japanese turnips (211 g in photo)
1 satoimo baby taro root (61 g in photo)
1-2 sprigs mitsuba (5 g in photo)
250 cc dashi
1 tsp sake
2/3 tsp usukuchi pale soy sauce


Peel and cut kabu.
Peel and slice satoimo (relatively thick slices are OK).


In a small pot, put dashi, sake and kabu.

Cover, and cook on medium to medium low heat until kabu softens.


Place satoimo in a microwaveable container, cover, and microwave until soft.


Put satoimo in kabu pot, place cover but leave ajar, and simmer for a few more minutes.


Puree satoimo and kabu.
Add soy sauce. 


Meanwhile, chop mitsuba.


When nearly ready to serve, add mitsuba stems and some leaves, and mix.
Serve in individual bowls, and top with remaining mitsuba leaves.

  • Satoimo can be cooked (simmered) together with kabu. Cooking separately as above can prevent soup/stock from overflowing while simmering satoimo, which tends to happen when cooking at higher heat or with a cover.
  • If mitsuba is not available, try other strong-tasting greens such as green onions and seri water dropwart. Kabu leaves do have a spicy note, but it is not strong enough to provide clear contrast to the soup's mellow taste.
  • If a somewhat richer note is desired, flavor the soup with miso (2 tsp miso and 1/2 tsp sakeksasu sake lees per 250 cc dashi). The soup would gain a warmer hue and become slightly more solid. Photo at right is a white miso version.
  • Kabu alone makes a pleasant soup as well (a miso version with cherry tomatoes in photo at left).


Anonymous said...

This, too, looked so appetising that I immediately decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, I had to wait as kabu were not available yet. Today however, I spotted them in the veggie section and bought a bunch. I’m looking forward to having this tomorrow. Due to severe and long lasting frost and freezing temperatures a lot of my plants didn’t make it through the winter, including mitsuba so I’ll have to grow it from seeds again. The seri did survive and I will follow your suggestion and use that. Thanks for all the great recipes and inspiration you provide. Much appreciated. Regards, Philip

neco said...

Hi Phillip,
Thank you for the comment. I hope the dish turns out well.
I wish more people become aware of how tasty kabu is! -- so that I can find it more easily locally when the weather does not cooperate when growing it myself… a selfish desire it is.
My mitsuba survived our unusually cold winter here, but it is in the unheated greenhouse. Thanks to the wet climate, the plant comes back every year without watering for winter months.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the answer, I made this a couple of times and really like it, adjusting the thickness to my fancy. Very creamy and smooth. Kabu really is tasty, I second your wish, especially as I can't grow my own here. My mitsuba survived many years but not this time. I hope the seeds germinate soon, I miss having mitsuba at hand.

neco said...

I am glad to hear you liked the soup. Good luck with your mitsuba!