Friday, October 7, 2011

Kabocha Soup

Last time the wife and I went to the Chinese grocery store down in Austin, we procured a nicely sized, deeply green type of pumpkin called a kabocha. Kabocha is one of those wonderful foods that have a multitude of uses for a huge variety of food styles; it can be steamed and sauced or battered and fried, anything really works so long as it's been cooked.

The older Japanese man who writes the only food blog I follow with any kind of dedication had put the bug in my ear that I needed to revisit this big ol' rock-hard winter squash with his mention of having made a soup out of one the week before. His picture of a half-empty tureen of smooth golden soup and a heavily coated ladle had intrigued me, but alas he'd posted no recipe!

Enter a few hours of searching on Google for recipes, and I finally had my way of going about it. It turned out so creamy and smooth that we both had a second helping before putting away the rest to give to my pumpkin-loving mother-in-law this weekend. I will warn you, however, that it's an extremely tough squash to cut cold, but this produced some of the most amazing soup ever that it was well worth the time I spent with sawing knife and cleaver.

Kabocha Soup

1/2 Kabocha, seeded, peeled and cubed (1 inch chunks)
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk (I used soy again)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a shallow baking pan with the oil. Toss the kabocha chunks with the spices and oil before roasting for half an hour, turning once during cooking. After removing from the oven, blend with the milk and water in batches in a strong blender. Transfer to a stock pot and simmer.

Makes six to eight servings.