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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

kabocha squash soup

Next to Butternut squash, Kabocha is my favorite. It is sweet and has a wonderful buttery texture when cooked.

For soups, the easiest way for me is to cook the squash whole in a pressure cooker. Then, peel it, cut it into chunks and cook it in a broth with flavors. Finally, puree it before serving.



Ingredients
1 medium kabocha squash
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 medium celery stalk, chopped fine
1 carrot diced
3 green chilies (jalapenos or serranos work well to balance the sweetness)
4-5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
4 cups vegetable stock (low-salt)
salt to taste
1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
½ cup applesauce (optional)
½ cup sour cream (optional)
1 Tbsp canola oil
for garnish:
2 Tbsp chives, rosemary, young cilantro, chopped fine
flavoring/spices:
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp black pepper powder (adjust to taste)
1 tsp turmeric powder

Preparation:

  1. pressure cook the kabocha squash whole; peel skin, remove the inside pulp, cut into small chunks
  2. alternately, cut it into chunks, skin it, clean the insides, and cook it in a pot with some water till it is soft
  3. heat oil in a pan, sauté the onions with a pinch of salt and some brown sugar till it carmelizes; add ginger, garlic, chilies, celery, carrots and sauté a bit
  4. add the squash chunks to the pan, all the flavoring/spices, applesauce (if using) and the vegetable stock; bring it to a boil, cover partially and simmer till all the vegetables get very soft and mushy; add water as needed to keep the veggies simmering in liquid
  5. off heat, allow it to cool a bit and then puree it in a blender or food processor or one of those hand-held immersion blenders till it is smooth (i like to leave some chunks just for texture); adjust salt to taste
  6. before serving, reheat if needed, stir in sour cream if using, garnish with chopped fresh herbs and serve warm

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