Yesterday may have been the coldest day of winter so far. I don’t have proof to back that up except it was the first day I’ve worn tights under my jeans and had to use a scarf to cover my face and not just my neck. Also, I passed at least two people on the street who had near-frozen icicles of snot dripping down their nose. Even my yoga class went from an attendance of twenty the week before, to a measly six brave souls.

Luckily I remembered what my eighth-grade science teacher in Vermont taught me about layering: loose layers, wool is preferred, leave enough room for air to circulate and heat up, and most importantly tuck everything in so no skin is exposed in any way. New England common sense, of course, but wizardry to a girl from Long Island who never owned a pair of gloves.

So it was the perfect day to make soup. But instead of the usual hearty favorites—mushroom barley, bean chili,  chowder —my friend Jill and I settled on this carrot-ginger-miso recipe from one of our favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen. While not hearty per se it was warming and comforting and will keep you on track for hitting your new year’s whatchamacallits by being all healthy and vegan and whatnot.

We served the soup with a crunchy cucumber salad with ginger, sesame, and scallion from Cook’s Illustrated and a dark rye bread that Jill made with cocoa and espresso (it’s like your toast and coffee in one). Accompanied with the latest episode of Downton Abbey I forgot all about the blustery cold outside. (Will Matthew and Mary get together already, jeez.)

I’m publishing the recipe as is, but Jill and I agreed we’d make a few adjustments in the future. For one, the consistency was very puréed, almost baby-food-like, which, don’t get me wrong, can be enjoyable. But I’d increase the vegetable broth. Next, the recipe only calls for 1/4 cup white miso, but I’d ratchet that on up to 1/2 c if you’re feeling bold. As is you could barely discern the miso flavor. Finally, I’d add a tablespoon or two of rice wine vinegar if you have it, it was missing just a tiny acidic zing. But otherwise I really enjoyed it and would definitely make again.

Carrot-Ginger-Miso Soup
Makes 4 servings

2 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 regular or 6 small garlic cloves, peeled or smashed
1 tbsp finely chopped or grated ginger (or more)
4 c vegetable broth
1/4 c white miso paste, or more
Toasted sesame oil, for drizzling
2 scallions, very thinly sliced, for garnish*

Heat the oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and ginger. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

Purée soup in batches in blender or with an immersion blender. In a small bowl whisk together the miso and 1/2 cup of the soup. Stir the mixture back into the pot of soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional miso.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil and scallions.

*You can do a quick pickle of the scallions by letting them marinate in a mixture of 6 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp water, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp sugar while you’re making the soup.