Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recipe: Creamy Kabocha Squash Soup

I went to Sprouts a few weeks ago (have you been to Sprouts?! It's amazing!) and saw that some of the winter varieties of squash were on sale. I'd used butternut squash before in soups and in roasted medleys with carrots and onions, and I am not unfamiliar with the acorn squash either. 

But there was a third squash present. Kabocha. At first I assumed this was the squash from which that weird fermented health drink is made (I later learned this is kombucha and not connected to winter squash at all), but at the sale price, it was worth trying. So I grabbed one and put it in the cart. 

For a solid week the little hard-skinned squash sat on top of the microwave, mocking me with its inability to be thoroughly Googled. Few recipes or health facts exist for the kabocha squash. Eventually, I just decided to bake it, puree it, and make a soup. If it turned out awful, I'd just feed it to the garbage disposal. 

But I was in luck. Using a recipe I had for butternut squash soup, I substituted the kabocha and added a little more garlic. Not only was the texture like velvet, but the flavor was amazing. Definitely one of my favorite soup recipes ever.

Gluten/Dairy/Soy/Grain-Free Creamy Kabocha Squash Soup

1 kabocha squash, peeled and cubed (you chould also use butternut or acorn squash)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 bag baby carrots or 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups GF vegetable broth (more if needed)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp basil 
1 Tbsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
plain yogurt (optional)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in olive oil, onion, and garlic. Saute until translucent. 

Add in squash, carrots, and broth. Bring to boil, then cover and simmer on low until carrots break apart easily with a fork (about 45 minutes). 

Add in basil, oregano, and salt, then cook for 5 more minutes to allow the herbs to blend in. 

Turn off heat and, using whatever blending method you choose (immersion, upright blender, food processor, etc.), blend until smooth. 

Serve warm with a dollop of plain yogurt on top (optional).
It's really good.

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