Monday, October 8, 2012

Kabocha squash soup

I truly apologize for the lack of photos in this post. I feel almost silly posting it this way, but the soup I made last week (with a kabocha squash, aka the best squash ever) was so good that I can't resist. Also, my mother really wants the recipe, and since I made up the recipe as I went, I had to write it out somewhere. And that somewhere might as well be here, you feel me?

The kabocha squash is also known as the Japanese pumpkin. It's green on the outside and its flesh is the sweetest, most lovely I've ever tasted across the squash spectrum (!). And since last winter was "the winter of the squash" at our home, I can safely say I've tasted and made soups out of most squash types available in our area, and the kabocha wins every time (I'm kind of a squash expert? Dare I say?).

But on to the soup, so you can make it for yourself and/or your family.

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Kabocha squash half, just out of the oven (I dare you not to eat it right then and there)

For the squash:

1 kabocha squash
olive oil
salt + pepper

To prepare squash:

Cut squash in half and remove seeds.
Spray or brush with olive oil (I do this to the inside and the outside, but the inside is critical).
Then, sprinkle salt & pepper on the inside.

Bake, cut side down, at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes.
When it's done, you'll be able to poke through it easily with a skewer. Just use your judgment!

For the soup:

garlic (4-5 cloves, minced)
onion (1, diced)
carrots (2 small, sliced)
mushrooms (any type, about 1/2 package pre-sliced)
salt + pepper
sons of bitches (aka red pepper flakes)
1 cube vegetable bullion + 4 cups of water (or, alternately, 4 cups of veggie stock)

spices:

coriander
cardamom
paprika of your choice (I used mild paprika)
herbs de provence
cumin
...anything else you love, too!

Sautee garlic, onion, mushrooms & carrots in olive oil until soft/translucent (add some salt + pepper at this time too). Add spices (this was very inexact for me; I didn't measure anything, and I know how much of each spice I tend to like, so please do this however you like, and in the future hopefully I will measure better and have exact measurements for you!), and stir until they are mixed in with the veggies.

While you're waiting for your veggies to soften, go to your freshly roasted squash and scoop out all of the delicious meat. After mixing all your spices together in the soup pot, add all of the squash, the vegetable bullion cube, and 4 cups of water. Stir, and bring to a boil.

After the soup, which should be very chunky at this point, is brought to a boil, turn off the stove. At this point you will puree the soup — I use an immersion blender, which you should put on your holiday wish lists immediately if you do not own one already — but you can use whatever method you usually use to blend soups, until the soup is very smooth and creamy. I usually top the soup with a bit more salt & pepper, and if I have it around, some parsley, but the parsley is optional, of course.

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the finished soup, this time topped with green onion
This soup is truly fantastic.
Kabocha squash is the best squash ever.
The end!

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