Kabocha Pumpkin Soup
As I’ve mentioned, I looooove fall…mostly for the squash. With all the squash to choose from, pumpkin has to be my favorite. When the holidays come, I use it as an excuse to make pumpkin-themed everything. I have a friend who swaps cooking days with me, and we come up with new pumpkin-themed meals every week. When I tried this pumpkin soup by Chef Jamie, I begged him to share the recipe. Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin, and it has a wonderful, creamy texture. It is the perfect base for a hearty, filling soup that will warm you during the chilly days of fall.
1 Whole Kabocha Pumpkin cut in half (found at your local Japanese Market)
2 sliced onions
2 tsp pumpkin spice
4 cups water
1/2 cup cream or dairy substitute (optional)
2 tsp olive oil for sautéing
Blender, Ladle, Sheet Pan, Stock Pot, Sauté Pan, Knife, Cutting Board, bowls for hold ingredients, wooden spoon
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place pumpkin halves-cut side down-on a greased baking sheet. When the oven is ready, put in the pumpkin halves and cook for about 45 minutes, or until a butter knife slips through easily.
2.) While the pumpkin is cooking, heat a pan with the olive oil and sauté the onions on medium heat. Once the onions are colored nutty brown and translucent, then add the garlic. Cook for one more minute, being sure not to burn the garlic.
3.) Once the pumpkins are soft, scoop out the seeds and discard. You can also wash the seeds clean, then toast until crunchy and slightly browned, and use them as a garnish for the soup. Once the seeds are removed, scoop out the meat and place into a blender. Blend in four stages; at each stage add a quarter of all of the following ingredients: pumpkin meat, sautéed onion, garlic and water.
4.) Once you’ve finished blending, add the blended ingredients to a large pot. Simmer and reduce. The soup is down simmering once it can coat the back of the spoon, but isn’t as thick as mashed potatoes. If you are adding cream, add it now. Season the soup with salt and pumpkin spice and finish with toasted pumpkin seeds, milk foam, caramelized onion or a combination of all three.
Note: Season well once you have the consistency you want. Remember, not too thick, not too thin. The soup should coat a spoon thinly and remain their like cream consistency.
Chef Jamie Woolner studied culinary arts at The Art Institute of California. He has cooked in many restaurants making Japanese, Latin, Italian, and American cuisine. Currently he owns and operates Pizza of Venice, CA, where he supplies events and restaurants with custom pizzas. You can find his company on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/povpizza