This gorgeous veggie-packed soup is perfect for a cozy fall lunch or dinner. Kabocha squash, also known as a Japanese pumpkin, has a beautiful orange hue and is sweeter than other varieties of squash; it is closer in taste and texture to a sweet potato. In this recipe, it’s blended with onion, bell pepper, garlic, and warm curry spices until it is silky smooth and full of flavor.
A simple topping of Greek yogurt and roasted pumpkin seeds adds tartness and crunch. I think next time I make it, I might try topping it with roasted chickpeas to add a little protein.
Kabocha Curry Soup
(6 – 8 servings)
1 medium kabocha squash (should yield about 3 cups of cooked squash)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
kosher or sea salt
1 large yellow onion
1 bell pepper, orange or yellow
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons curry powder (divided)
2 large garlic cloves (1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped)
1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
pinch of red pepper flakes
hot water/vegetable stock
1 tablespoon lime juice
roasted pumpkin seeds
paprika (for color)
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Use a very sharp, large chef’s knife and some upper body strength to cut the squash in half and remove the stem. Be extra careful to point the knife away from your body and beware of it slipping when cutting such a tough surface. Cutting the stem off first may help, and I’ve read that some cooks microwave the squash for a few minutes to soften it before cutting; I haven’t tried that, but it might be helpful.
Scoop the seeds out. (I rinsed and roasted the seeds as suggested in another recipe. I was going to post instructions but wasn’t a fan of the texture, so I can’t recommend taking the extra time to do so. I ended up using pumpkin seeds for garnish instead.)
Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil to rub all over the flesh of the squash, along with a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Place each half cut-side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to one hour.
Prepare the vegetables while the squash bakes.
Chop the onion and bell pepper. Melt one tablespoon coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, a good pinch of salt, and one tablespoon of curry powder. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often, and lower the heat to medium-low so the vegetables get soft but not brown.
Chop the garlic and add it to the vegetables. Cook for another five minutes or so to soften the garlic. Keep the vegetables warm on low heat.
Once the squash has cooked and is tender all the way through, allow it to cool slightly, then scoop out the flesh and place it in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) or large food processor. It should yield about 3 cups. Discard the skin.
(As you can see, I may have left the squash in the oven for a little over an hour and probably could have pulled it about fifteen minutes sooner. However, the caramelization didn’t hurt a thing, and I’d rather have it a little overcooked than under.)
Add the cooked vegetables and the coconut milk. Blend on high until smooth.
Taste it before seasoning further. I added two more teaspoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You may want more or less spice. Add about one cup of hot water or vegetable stock to thin it out and blend until smooth. Taste it again, adjust seasonings if needed, and add the lime juice.
Heat the soup on the stove or microwave before serving. If you’re using a Vitamix, you can continue to blend the soup until it is hot. Add vegetable stock or hot water to thin the soup to the consistency you like (if using hot water, you may need to add more seasoning).
Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, Greek yogurt, and a sprinkle of paprika.
I talked to my daughters about the power of prayer today. In my opinion, how you pray isn’t important as long as you set an intention for light to drive out the dark. It is more important than ever.
Stay strong and shine your light.
The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.Mahatma Gandhi