Kabocha Squash Soup

You can easily bake and stuff any number of pumpkins or winter squash for a mouthwatering fall meal that is sure to impress your dinner guests. After testing out numerous squashes and fillings, the following recipe is my favorite combination. I find that the Kabocha Squash and Golden Nugget Squash have a wonderfully creamy texture that works perfectly for this dish. Feel free to use a different kind of pumpkin/squash and whatever filling you like or have on hand. This recipe is for one main course serving and it is very filling! If you want to have this as an appetizer or a less filling main course, then I recommend getting a squash that is less than 2 pounds. This is hard to do with a Kabocha, but you can often find Golden Nuggets that are smaller than 2 pounds. While the squash is cooking you can toast the seeds and either sprinkle them on top of the soup as garnish or eat alone as an appetizer. See the link at the bottom for an easy recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds. Note: If making this dish Paleo just leave out the legumes or replace them with cooked ground meat.

Makes: 1 large serving

Preparation time: 10m
Cooking time: 10m
Total time: 1h10m


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1 Kabocha squash (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup halved pecans
  • 1/4 cup cooked green lentils (or beans/if making this Paleo leave out the legumes)
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (thyme or marjoram)

Equipment: knife, bowl, baking dish


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
  2. Set the squash stem-side up and cut it open by making a circular hole in the top around the stem. You want to make the opening big enough to get a spoon into the squash because you’ll be eating out of it like a bowl. Save the lid with the stem attached. (See photo below)
  3. Spoon out all of the seeds and discard (or save for roasting later).
  4. Mix the vegetable stock, black olives, pecans, lentils, carrots, celery, dried sage, dried oregano and salt in a bowl.
  5. Then pour mixture into the squash, it should be enough to fill it right up to the top. Make sure to leave enough space for the lid to go back on without splashing any of the soup mixture out.
  6. Put the lid back on the squash and place it into a baking dish. The squash will probably leak a little while cooking and this will catch the drippings.
  7. Bake at 400ºF/200ºC for 40-60m. It is done when the interior flesh is soft enough to cut with a spoon. The larger the squash, the longer it will take to cook. Just keep checking on it. If you got a 2 pound squash the soonest you can expect it to be done is around 40minutes. For a 2.5 pounder you will probably have to wait all 60 min. Be careful not to over cook the squash as this will compromise the integrity of the shell and all of the soup will leak out.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15 min before moving it to a serving dish.
  9. This is a fun dish to eat strait from the squash. While eating, scoop a little of the squash flesh into the soup so you get some with each bite.
  10. You can also serve this in bowls. Particularly if the squash bursts! Just rescue the soup contents from the baking dish and place them in a bowl. Then scrape the soft squash flesh from the hard outer shell and mix it into the bowl with the soup.
  11. While the squash is cooking you can toast the seeds and use them for garnish or eat as an appetizer. Here’s a great recipe for INLINE-LINK-START title="Toasted Pumpkin Seeds" href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/toastedpumpkinseeds/" target="_blank">toasted pumpkin seeds INLINE-LINK-END.