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April 08, 2013: Kabocha Soup

April 8, 2013

Kabocha SoupFor sure, I am not sorry to see Winter on its way out, but I shall miss some of the good soups of the season. Before it got too warm, I thought I would take a crack at a Japanese Winter-ish soup made from kabocha squash.

Kabocha looks a little like a small flattened green pumpkin, and can be found in the produce department of most grocery stores, owing to it growing well in Mexico. It tastes much like acorn squash (which can be substituted, if you cannot find kabocha.)

How this squash migrated to Japan is a story: squash came from the New World and was brought to Europe by the Spanish. The Portuguese  brought seeds when they went to the East and grew it in Cambodia, and from there, they introduced it to the Japanese. Through a miscommunication, when the Japanese asked the Portuguese the name of the vegetable they were told the country’s name “Kampuchea” (what Cambodians called their country.) From that word, the Japanese got it “kabocha.”

Kabocha Soup
Take two medium kabocha squash (about 4lbs.) and soak in H2O and scrub skin. Remove skin and save. Cut each squash into quarters, de-seed and de-pulp. Cut into 1″ pieces and soak in clean, cold H2O. Wash, skin (save skins) and chop 2 medium carrots and section into 1″ pieces and add to H2O. Similarly, wash, skin and chop into 1″pieces, two medium potatoes and add to H2O.

Add all veggie peelings to a large pot with a little oil, salt and pepper, and over medium heat cook the veggies for a couple of minutes. Add enough H2O to cover veggies and  bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the veggies are soft (about 1/2 hour.) Strain. This is the stock for your soup (makes about 2-3 quarts.)

Strain 1″ cubes of veggies and in a little oil fry 1 chopped medium onion and then add strained veggies. Cook over medium heat while turning for about 10 minutes, add broth, salt and pepper, a sprinkle of cinnamon and dash of nutmeg, 2 bay leaves, and 2,  4″ pieces of kombu. Bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer until all veggies are soft. Remove bay and kombu (all green veggies are removed.) Blend well with an immersion blender until smooth. Add 2C. heavy cream and 2 Tblsp. white miso. Serve soup topped with the chopped green part of spring onions.

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2 comments

  1. I probably shouldn’t be reading your blog when I’m hungry…but man that looks GOOD.


  2. Agreed, I’m so glad winter is on it’s way out, but I will miss soup. I love kabocha too!



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