- Food and Cooking
Kabocha Squash Soup
The jewel of vegetarian soups is also the easiest!
A few years ago, I bought a packet of Butternut Squash seeds. We had a little garden patch and I thought wouldn't it be a fine thing to see some happy squashes out there in the fall! My face dropped when I saw what was growing, not my happy pale Butternuts, but some bumpy green, gourd-like aliens!
Thankfully my curiosity took over and I then discovered one of the foods that has become a staple in my life - the Kabocha Squash! (Also called Japanese Pumpkin or Buttercup among others..).
I could go on and on about soup, the ease of it, the nutrition, the variety, not to mention the whole comfort factor! But that would be an entire other post - suffice to say: I love soup and eat it a lot!
(Creative commons photo courtesy of wikioticsIan.)
So simple! All you need for the soup base is:
Fresh cold water
Stock (veggie, home made or powder/cubes)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Blender or potato masher
Cutting and peeling
For me, I usually get the man of the house to open these babies up, but I have had success with a bread knife! For the really tough ones, he'll get the knife in there, then flip it over and bang the knife on the cutting board. I have tried to find other ways, but there is really no special trick - here is one post I found, she makes it sound easy!
Or check out the video below!
How to open the darn thing!
I feed on good soup, not beautiful language.
The 'how to' part
To begin I open the beast! As mentioned I have tried a few times and had success with a bread knife, sawing and cutting, but my husband can usually get it open for me pretty easily.
We cut it in quarters and roast it seeds and all at 350 or 400 on a cookie sheet. I will also throw in a few sweet potatoes, yams and regular russets to a) fill up the oven and b) have ready to add to the soup (well the sweets and yams, the russets I throw in the fridge to have ready for hashbrowns!).
Once the squash is done I let it cool and then scoop out the seeds. We don't roast them so they go into the compost, but you can roast and eat just like pumpkin seeds! The skin of this particular squash is edible too, but again, we compost it.
Having said that, once the roasted squash is cool, I scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
Then I get the blender, some veggie stock (can be cubes), fresh cold water and a big pot!
Put a good few spoonfuls of squash into the blender (maybe fill just over a third full), then add in water, nearly to the top. Blend away and then pour into pot.
Repeat until you have blended all the squash and the soup is a consistency you like. It will thicken a bit over time.
Next I add in the broth (I go by the instructions on the package if I don't have homemade handy, and anything else I like, just not dairy, save that until the soup is finished cooking.
Then simmer on low, uncovered, stirring once in a while for as little as 15 minutes up to a few hours. I like my soup to cook for quite a while as the flavours blend nicely!
This soup can be frozen in a snap, and if you don't want to make a big batch of soup, just add some water to the pulp and go ahead and freeze that too - it'll keep.
Kabocha squash 101
All you need! - Plus I love stainless and it lasts forever.
Kabocha squash nutritional content
Click the photo for more detailed information
Additions to the finished product
What I add to the soup really depends on what I have handy, or if I am in the mood for something spicy etc. Or, if I am needing more kcals or a vitamin hit if I have been ill, I will for sure add a yam at the very least.
Additions I have tried include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Cinnamon and nutmeg (or just the nutmeg if you don't want it to taste too much like pumpkin pie!)
- Chili powder
- Brown sugar
- Milk or cream (add after cooked when cooling, for an extra boost of creaminess if you do dairy)
- Parmesan cheese
- Home baked Croutons
The possibilities are really endless, but because I have to keep my soup low in fibre I don't add more veggies, you could really add anything though.
After the squash is cooked I do sometimes cube it and add it to other soups as well, ie: sometimes after work, before bed we'll have Kimchi (chinese noodles) and I will add some cubed squash and a ladle or two of squash soup just to give it a nutrition boost!
**And side note, this squash makes a fantastic pie, so much like pumpkin I would almost call them interchangeable.
I love making soup, and I love a good soundtrack ~ - The two just seem to joyfully go together and these three are my very faves!
So go make some soup and dance around!
On the side
These are my new addiction!
Try these, you won't be able to stop making them!
I make them with packaged tortilla shells and with home made, I'll include both here.
1 package flour tortilla shells (can be veggie or cheese any flavour, but for the sweet recipe just use plain)
dish of water and a pastry brush
white sugar and cinnamon mix, (as if for cinnamon toast 2:1)
cookie pan lined with parchment paper
oven pre heated to 350
So take as many shells as you like, (I can eat 1 or sometimes two by myself!), then brush the tops with water and evenly sprinkle the sugar mixture onto them. Next get a sharp knife and cut into triangles or squares, pop onto the pan and into the oven!
WATCH CAREFULLY! These burn really quickly, so once you see the edges get brown they're very nearly done. These only take a few minutes to bake to crispiness depending on how hot your oven runs.
For the flavoured shells, do the same thing. I have experimented adding seasoning to the shells, but I have yet to find the magic recipe! I sometimes eat them plain, with the soup or as a snack with plain yogurt or yogurt mixed with hummus for a larger meal.
For the home made variety you will need:
Large dry fry pan, heated up so a water drop dances and disappears.
Unbleached white flour
Pinch of salt
I haven't been making home made ones for very long so have yet to experiment, but there are loads of things you could try adding!
I can't give exact measurements as I just go by how many I want, but basically one cup of flour a pinch of salt and baking powder and enough water to make a nice elastic dough. This will make about 6 x 8" shells.
The trick I have found is to roll these as thin as you can do evenly, and then once you pop them into the fry pan, keep it moving. Depending on how fast the heat is on your pan (electric vs flame), it may only take a few seconds to brown one side (you will see it puff up like magic!), once you can see the brown spots, flip it over until the other side looks the same.
You can either eat them soft like this, or follow the above recipe to make them crispy - enjoy!
(Click the picture for a gluten free almond tortilla recipe!)
Nutrition content for 1 cup of Kabocha seeds
Click the photo for more details
How to grow your own Kabocha squash
If you have Gastroparesis check out Crystal's books! - They're lifesavers - literally!
This book is amazing and I have tried all the recipes and tips, it's so great!
A match made in heaven!
There are SO many amazing videos and recipes out there for Kabocha squash, just google and dig in!
Even with my super simple soup recipe, it is amazing how many things you can add to spice it up or tone it down! This makes it so versatile; you can serve it for a fancy dinner party or give it to your kids when they're ill - it's my go-to food.
Kabocha Sashimi! - Just because I love it~
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