It’s February, and that means SOUP. Well, actually, around here it’s been in the 50s and 60s and pretty darn gorgeous for being the middle of Winter. And truth be told, I’d probably eat this soup in July, but it definitely fits February better. So for all of you stuck in the polar vortex, this belly-warming concoction will help get you through until Spring. Wherever you are, whatever your weather, rustle up your soup pot and make this Kabocha squash soup. And this is the part where you say, WHAT THE HECK IS KABOCHA, BETH?
Let’s let Wikipedia handle this one, shall we?
Basically, kabocha squash tastes like if a butternut squash and a sweet potato had a little too much organic fertilizer one night and one thing led to another, and well, you know.
Aaaaaaand I just realized that the Wikipedia article says that they are thought to be an aphrodisiac. Interesting…ahem…back to the soup.
Some soups are complicated, long recipes that require standing over a stove and maintaining delicate simmers. This is not that recipe. A full body warm hug that Olaf would envy can be yours in 4 simple steps.
Step 1 – Roast the squash
Step 2 – Sauté the shallots, garlic, and ginger
Step 3 – Simmer everything together for a few minutes
Step 4 – Puree, season, and serve
From cutting board to bowl, this soup takes 45 minutes, tops, and half of that is hands-off time while you wait for the squash to roast and cool. Speaking of roasting…
The best way to roast a kabocha is to cut it into wedges and roast the wedges on a baking sheet. You can roast the squash whole, but it takes a long time and it’s much harder to get the seeds out post-roast. Plus when you cut it into wedges you get to arrange them like puzzle pieces on the baking sheet. Play with your food, I say.
WARNING – don’t sample the squash after it’s been roasted, or you might not end up with enough for the soup. It’s like squash candy. Trust me on this.
While the squash is getting its roast on, it’s time for Step 2! The seasoning for this soup is super simple – shallot, garlic, and ginger. If you don’t have a shallot, just use half of a regular onion, it’ll be just fine.
I have started using shallots more and more in my cooking, especially in soups, because they are less harsh than a regular onion and a bit sweeter. Also, they’re not bad to look at!
Sauté the shallot, garlic, and ginger in a touch of oil over medium-low heat. You don’t have to worry about chopping them in teeny tiny pieces, because they’re going to get pureed anyway. The idea is just to get a bit of color on them and let the shallots cook down a bit until they are tender and almost translucent.
After your squash has been roasted and cooled for a couple of minutes, peel the skin away and add the flesh to the pot. You know I meant squash flesh, right? Glad we can all agree on that. Cover with about 6 cups of water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Now it’s time for Step 3!
Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add a 1/2 cup of coconut milk. I love the Thai Kitchen brand, and buy it 6 cans at a time via Amazon’s Subscribe and Save option. That’s the best price I’ve found and it stays consistent, so yay for fat wallets!
Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, and then it’s time to get going with Step 4.
Puree that goodness into a silky, creamy, soup that tastes like sweet, gingery, coconut-y heaven and warms you all the way down to your tippy toes. The absolute best tool for this job is an immersion blender. It’s one of the Top 5 tools you should have in your kitchen. All you do is stick it in the pot, turn it on, and in less than a minute you’ll have a smooth puree that has earned a place in your belly.
Dish that soup up into your favorite bowl and drizzle some coconut milk over the top all pretty like.
Oh who am I kidding, we don’t need pretty when there’s eating to do! I’ll leave you to it.
- 1 Kabocha squash, 2-3 lbs (or substitute butternut squash or pumpkin)
- 1 T. coconut oil, or other cooking oil such as olive or grapeseed
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock, plus more to thin soup if necessary
- ½ cup coconut milk, such as Thai Kitchen brand
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the kabocha squash into wedges, and roast on the baking sheet for 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Let cool until you can handle them enough to peel the skin away.
- While the squash is roasting, sauté the shallot, garlic, and ginger in a medium pot over medium-low heat, until the shallot is tender and somewhat translucent. Remove from the heat until the squash is roasted and peeled.
- Add the squash to the pot, and cover with water or vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut milk.
- Turn off the heat, and puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender. If using a regular blender, transfer the soup in batches and be careful not to overfill the blender as it could explode hot soup all over you and your kitchen and that would be bad news indeed. Seriously, an immersion blender is your friend. Get one, and save your ceilings from soup splatters.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to your taste, and serve.