Recipe Friday: Kabocha Squash Soup

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Recipes Issue: October 2017

Soup prep. Photo by Constance Bradley.
Now that fall is officially underway, it’s time to drag out your trusty stockpot to make some soul-satisfying soups and stews. Constance Bradley of Scottsdale Integrative Acupuncture shares a vegetarian soup recipe that will warm you during the chilly days (one can hope) and nights of autumn and winter.

According to Bradley, who is trained in Chinese nutritional therapy, soup is a good way to nourish the body and warm up the digestive system. “I was raised to think that there’s nothing better for you than a big, cold, raw salad and a big, cold smoothie, but in Chinese theory, cold foods impair digestion,” she says.

If you’ve never heard of kabocha squash, you’re not alone. It’s also known as Japanese squash and is available at most local grocery stores. “Kabocha is unique because you can eat the skin, so you don’t have to peel it,” Bradley says. “You scoop out the seeds and cook as is, throw in the blender and you have a nice soup within about 30 minutes.”

Kabocha Squash Soup
1 kabocha squash
½ onion, chopped
1 tbsp. ghee (a kind of clarified butter popular in India; can be found at most supermarkets)
2 cups broth of your choice (chicken or vegetable work best here; also a great place to use bone broth)
1 cup full-fat coconut milk (canned)
Salt and pepper
Coconut cream (optional, for garnish)
Parsley (optional, for garnish)

• Wash the exterior of the kabocha squash. Carefully cut in half and remove seeds and inner strands of the squash (kabocha squash is notoriously hard; use caution when cutting).
• Slice the kabocha into 1-inch cubes; remove exterior skin if desired or leave skin on for extra fiber boost. Set slices aside.
• In a medium pot, melt ghee, add onion, salt, and pepper and sauté until onion is translucent and softened.
• Add kabocha and sauté together with onions until the kabocha is cooked through.
• Pour broth into the pot. Simmer on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until kabocha is softened.
• Use an immersion hand blender to blend the vegetables with the broth, or allow the mixture to cool slightly and then pour it into a traditional blender to puree then add it back to the pot.
• On medium high heat, add the coconut milk to the kabocha mixture and bring to a boil, constantly stirring the soup. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately. Garnish with a spoonful of coconut cream, additional freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley.