Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • A half a large kabocha squash, seeded (about 3 to 4 pounds for the half)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped or sliced onions
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups of chicken stock or water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Garnish with lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a heavy chef’s knife to cut the kabocha squash half into a few large pieces.
  2. Scoop out the seeds (you can toast them like pumpkin seeds!) and stringy insides. Place the squash pieces on a foil or silpat lined roasting pan. Rub olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Put the squash pieces skin side up on the pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until completely cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let sit.
  4. Heat olive oil and add the onions and celery. Lower the heat to medium and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook 2 minutes more.
  5. Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Place the roasted kabocha squash into the pot with the onions and celery mixture. Add the stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. If you want it creamy, use an immersion blender (or work in batches with a standing blender, only filling the blender bowl 1/3 of the way each time) to purée the soup.
  7. Add more salt to taste. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro to serve.

Image: Elise Bauer

Notes:

  • Kabocha squash are hard! Take care when cutting and use a heavy knife. I find it helps to put the whole squash in the microwave first for a minute before cutting. That softens the outer skin just enough to make it easier for the knife to penetrate.

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