Kabocha Squash Soup
Let me start by saying: this soup is DIVINE. I wanted to try something cozy with kabocha squash that was different than my usual prep of roasting it, and a soup sounded perfect for a chilly day in Los Angeles (yes, they exist!). The preparation and ingredients for this recipe are nothing special, but the flavors are phenomenal! Pair with some crunchy kale and yummy crackers like Jilz, and you're all set. Let me know if you're as addicted as I am.
• 4 cups cooked (or frozen) kabocha squash, peeled
• 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 cups vegetable broth (can probably sub for chicken/turkey broth for non veg option)
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon garam masala
• ½ teaspoon curry powder
• salt to taste
• freshly ground pepper to taste
• ½ cup dino kale, finely chopped
• ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 pinch sea salt
• ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (optional)
• ¼ cup cashews (soaked overnight in boiling water, then drained)
• 3 tablespoons water (add more if needed for desired consistency)
1. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees F. Prep a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
***NOTE: If using frozen kabocha squash, you can skip the roasting steps :)
2. If possible, microwave kabocha squash for 2-3 minutes. This helps the flesh get more tender so it's not as difficult to slice! Cut in half, remove seeds, and slice into wedges about ¼ inch thick. Coat with ¼ cup veggie broth, and place on parchment paper. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until skin is tender when pierced with fork.
3. While squash is cooking, sauté the onions and garlic! In a nonstick pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat on medium medium/high. Once pan has heated up, add chopped onion and garlic. Cook on medium for 5-7 minutes, or until onion has caramelized and edges are a little charred.
4. Transfer onion to a medium/medium large saucepan, and add remaining vegetable broth. Heat on medium.
5. Once squash is finished cooking, take out of oven and let cool for a few minutes. Peel the skin off, and chop into small cubes.
6. Add squash to saucepan with onion, and turn heat to medium high. Cook until mixture begins to 'gently' boil, about 6-7 minutes.
7. Transfer to high speed blender (worked perfectly in my Vitamix), and blend on medium / medium high. Add spices, and continue to blend until squash and onion break down into a thick, liquid consistency.
***I like my soups on the thicker side, but if you want to water it down a bit, I would do so with a lil bit of water or more broth at this point. Also, if you use more liquid you may have to blend it in 2 batches. Will still turn out just as flavorful though, don't worry! :)
8. Pour soup back into saucepan, and heat on medium low while you prep the cashew cream + kale!
9. In a food processor (could also work in a small blender probably), add soaked cashews, and pulse until desired consistency. Keep adding water by tablespoon increments until you achieve the thickness you want!
10. Now, in the same pan you cooked the onion, add ½ tablespoon olive oil, and heat on medium high. Add kale, sea salt, and turn gently for a few minutes, until kale begins to crisp up. I love when the edges brown a bit - it's all about those crunchy bits!
11. Serve soup hot, and top with cashew cream, kale, and fresh cilantro.