MISO PUMPKIN BROTH: In a medium saucepan, bring water to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to low to keep the water warm.
Add miso to a small mixing bowl and scoop out ~1/2 cup (120 ml) of water from the saucepan. Add to the miso and whisk/stir until mostly dissolved (this allows the miso to fully blend with the water and not clump). Add the miso mixture and pumpkin purée to the pot of warm water and stir to dissolve. Turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the stovetop to keep warm.
RISOTTO: Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil (or vegan butter) and leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat browned and caramelized — about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
Reduce heat to medium and add sage, arborio rice, and salt and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat. Add dry white wine and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the liquid is absorbed.
Using a ladle or measuring cup, add warmed miso pumpkin broth 1/2 cup (120 ml) at a time, stirring almost constantly, giving the risotto little breaks to come back to a simmer. The heat should be medium, and there should always be a slight simmer. You want the mixture to be cooking but not boiling, or it will get gummy and cook too fast.
Continue to add miso broth, stirring to incorporate, until the rice is al dente — cooked through but still has a slight bite. This whole process should only take 15-20 minutes (time based on original batch size // adjust if altering to make more or less).
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt to taste or maple syrup (optional) to enhance the pumpkin flavor.
CRISPY SAGE (optional): Heat oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add sage and a healthy pinch of salt and sauté for a few minutes to brown the sage slightly (this allows the flavor to deepen). Be careful not to let it burn.
To serve, divide risotto between serving bowls and garnish with crispy sage (optional).
Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat, adding vegetable broth or water as needed to rehydrate. Not freezer friendly.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.