Kabocha, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is a sweet and nutty winter squash native to Japan. E’s parents gave us one from their lovely garden to play with, and since I've only had kabocha served as part of the tempura vegetable mix alongside udon noodle soup, I decided to treat it like a pumpkin and made a comforting soup.
This kabocha was relatively young, so I didn't have to remove the skin prior to cooking. However, to achieve the brilliant yellow color of the finished product, you should peel off the green skin.
- 1 kabocha, seeded & chunked
- 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 knob ginger, peeled & sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1 qt chicken/vegetable broth
- 2-3 cups water to adjust consistency
- Toasted sesame seed oil
- Soy sauce
- Sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- A pat of butter
- Chopped chives & toasted pumpkin seeds or almond flakes to garnish
Place a soup pot over high heat and drizzle with EVOO and a pat of butter. Toss in onion, ginger and garlic and saute until aromatic and soft. Add broth and water and bring to a rolling boil before tossing in the chunked kabocha. Lower heat, cover and let simmer until kabocha is tender. Take off heat and blend till smooth. I mashed the kabocha with the back of a spoon, but a hand blender would be better if you’d like a really smooth texture. Season with a drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil, a splash of soy sauce, sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.
To serve, ladle some hot soup into a small bowl and garnish with chopped chives, pan-toasted pumpkin seeds or almond flakes and a drizzle of fine olive oil.