Better Than Chicken Soup (Miso Squash and Chickpea Soup)

Adapted from Talya Lutzker and Janet Malowany


2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 small leek, sliced longitudinally, washed and thinly sliced
3 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, pressed, divided
6 cups water or broth
4 cups kabocha (~1 lb) (or your favorite winter squash), chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced) (I used dried that I reconstituted in hot water for 10 minutes, but fresh would be better)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1.5 tbsp miso 
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes (or to taste)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 large heads of baby bok choy , half a bunch of kale (or other hearty greens), or spinach (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, melt the oil. Add the mustard seeds and turmeric and stir to mix with the oil. Cover and allow the mustard seeds to pop, around 1 minute. Stir in the leek, ginger and half of the garlic. Stir and cook for another minute. Deglaze with the water.

2. Add in the squash, carrot, mushrooms and chickpeas. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are tender, around 30 minutes. If adding bok choy or kale, stir it in, cover and cook until heated through, approximately 5 minutes. If adding spinach or other tender greens, wait to add until you remove from heat.

3. Remove from heat. Remove a portion of the broth and add to miso until dissolved. Stir in the reserved garlic, chili flakes, lemon juice and dissolved miso.  Season to taste.