Oh the delight shared when we teach the making of our Kabocha squash soup in class! Everyone loves it so much we decided to finally share it on the blog. Amend the recipe as your will and creative culinary spirit sees fit, adding fresh turmeric, curry spices, and more. But first, what is a kabocha?
Kabocha squash is an Asian variety of winter squash. Commonly called a Japanese pumpkin, it has a hard, knobby looking skin with either deep green or orange outside with a yellow-orange inside. Given its coloring it's no surprise kabocha squash is rich in beta carotene and packed with iron, vitamin C, and potassium. As its flavor is so deliciously sweet, more so than butternut squash, you'll see it featured in many dishes from soups to desserts in Asian cultures.
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
one large Kabocha squash (approximately 3-4 pounds)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup of chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced (about one tablespoon)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons sea salt (or less, it's up to you)
¼ teaspoon pepper
Garnish: lime juice, lemon juice or chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro or sage
Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Place whole squash on cookie sheet lined with foil and roast until knife goes through easily, approximately 45 minutes. Cool, then cut in half, scoop out seeds and stringy insides. Dice into 1 inch sized chunks. Heat remaining olive oil on medium high heat in a large (4 to 6 quart) thick bottom pan or pot. Add onions and celery. Lower heat to medium and cook mixture until softened, approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Add squash. Add about 1-2 cups stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring mix to a simmer, then lower heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Working in batches, use immersion blender or standard blender, only filling blender one-third full and adding remainder of stock until fully pureed. Place puree back into pot and reheat. Salt to taste. Garnish with vinegar, citrus juice or chopped herbs of choice to serve.