• Spratty Lin

Creamy Kabocha Soup


You’ve probably seen the small, round, green-skinned Japanese pumpkin known as kabocha here at Maido. They sit prominently displayed in the produce section, and are included as a side dish in every bento box. Kabocha were first brought to Japan in the 16th century by Portugese traders, and spread in popularity relatively quickly. Today, kabocha is a commonly used vegetable in Japanese cuisine making appearances in soups, stews, battered and deep fried as tempura, and even mashed into croquettes. Kabocha are best seasonally as a fall and winter squash, as they need about 2 months after picking to fully ripen.


One bite of our simmered kabocha is all that is needed to show why it has gained such popularity as a fall and winter food in Japan. Its bright orange flesh is tender and sweet, and the green skin is soft enough to eat, making peeling unnecessary. The smooth, sweet flesh makes kabocha ideal for soup that will warm you from the inside out, even on the coldest day. Try the following recipe to make your own delicious kabocha soup at home!


Creamy Kabocha Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total: 30 minutes


Ingredients

½ onion

1.4lbs kabocha squash

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups chicken broth

1 ½ cups whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

2 tsp kosher salt

Black pepper to taste


Instructions:

  • Thinly slice the onion

  • Carefully cut kabocha in half using a sharp knife. Raw kabocha can be quite hard, so exercise extra caution around the knife’s edges.

  • Scoop the seeds out of the center of the kabocha and discard. After the seeds have been removed, cut the kabocha halves into even wedges.

  • Cut the wedges into bite-sized cubes and remove the skin, if desired. As the skin is edible, it can be left on but will result in a less uniform color and texture of the finished soup. However, including the skin will give the soup a significant nutritional boost. It is really up to you!

  • Heat the butter in a large stock pot. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and saute until the onions are soft and golden brown.

  • Add the kabocha cubes and toss to coat with butter.

  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has reached a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 15-20 minutes.

  • Check the kabocha with a toothpick to see if it is fully cooked. The toothpick should slide into the kabocha pieces easily and come out cleanly.

  • Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture until the texture is smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transport the mixture in batches to a regular blender to puree.

  • Once the soup is evenly pureed, stir in the milk and cream.

  • Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot, with bread!

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