It's that time of year when winter squash are overflowing at the market and every magazine features a winter squash recipe. Winter squashes are like a bouquets of flowers, I simply can't resist their natural beauty. And just like in years past, I find my self "collecting" winter squash. A recent rainy cold spell influenced and reinforced my decision to make a kabocha coconut soup.
Every year I also need a refresher course on which winter squash is which. Googling I found a great visual of winter squash at epicurious.com. I did learn something new, there are two different varieties of kabocha squash, red and green. I was lucky enough to find the beautiful red kabocha squash below at my local farmers market. It is a gorgeous orange color when you cut it open and has a sweeter taste then the green kabocha which I purchased at Trader Joes. The green kabocha has a more muted orange color inside. It's flavor is chestnut like and drier. Since I had both I decided to create a soup using both kabocha squashes. "Flour, Too", by Joanne Chang was my inspiration. "Flour, Too" uses sweet potatoes instead of squash, so if you can't find a beautiful red kabocha squash substitute sweet potatoes.
Kabocha Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
adapted from "Flour Too," Joanne Chang
2 1/2 lbs. red kabocha squash, quartered and seeded
1 1/2 green kabocha squash, quartered and seeded
extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 leeks the white and lighter green part, sliced thinly
2 small heads of fennel, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric
2 pinches of salt
6 cups of organic low sodium vegetable broth ( I used Pacific for its neutral flavor)
1 - 13oz can of coconut milk
3-4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
cilantro, chopped for garnish
apple sliced for garnish
salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the squash quarters on the baking sheet. Drizzle the squash with extra virgin olive oil and using your hands evenly spread the oil over the squash flesh. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large stockpot, heat coconut oil over medium high heat. Add leeks, fennel, garlic, ginger, turmeric and a few pinches of salt. Turn heat to medium low and simmer vegetables for about 10 minutes.
3. Peel the squash and cut into large cubes. Add the squash and vegetable broth to the stockpot with other vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, simmering for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and add coconut milk, curry paste and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to blend.
5. Working in multiple batches, blend the soup in a blender and return to the stockpot to thoroughly warm the soup.
6. Garnish with apple slices and cilantro.
Variation: add cooked shrimp Pin It