Pureed Buttercup Squash, Onion and Millet Soup

Jinenjo, also called yama or nama imo, is a variety of wild (yama) or cultivated (nama) Japanese mountain yam and has a very power- fully strong energy. Therefore, I use it sparingly, mostly in puréed, creamy-style soups or winter warming stews. It is regularly imported from Japan and can be bought at various Asian markets in the United States of America.

Serves 4 to 6.


1 large crown of broccoli, washed—peel the fibrous outer layer and chop the stalks and tops into small cubes

2 medium onions, peeled and chopped into cubes

4 inch piece of jinenjo (Japanese mountain yam), peeled and cut into cubes

4 cups water

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 to 5 drops of shoyu or tamari

fresh or toasted nori seaweed for garnish


Put the water, onions, and jinenjo into a pot.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes with lid on.

Add the broccoli stalks, tops, and the rest of the salt and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Blend straight away and return to pot.

Add shoyu or tamari and simmer for 1 minute.

Serve with either freshly chopped or whole, fried parsley or small pieces of torn-up, toasted nori seaweed.

For variety, substitute the broccoli with either hard winter squash, rutabagas leeks, cauliflower, and/or parsnips.