Monday, January 16, 2012

Kabocha squash soup

This recipe is from Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet. If you're a vegetarian flirting with veganism, or even just want to know more about vegan diets, I recommend going and reading this book- it's half book half recipes and is full of great information. Some of the recipes call for ingredients that may be difficult to find if you don't live in California and some of the recipes are a bit pricey but this is still definitely worth having in your cookbook collection.

I've been meaning to make this soup recipe for a few months but I had a mishap with the first kabocha squash I bought back in October. We were hosting a potluck and some friends couldn't make it at the last minute and I decided to throw together this soup so we'd have more food. Great idea! It's quick, easy and only has 3 ingredients. So I was rushing and using our evil vegetable peeler and one thing led to another and I ended up slicing off a little chunk of my left pointer finger. We had to cancel our potluck and Michael took me to the store to get peroxide, gauze, bandaids, first aid cream, etc. We now have our own little pharmacy supply at our house. It healed nicely after about 2 weeks and you can't even tell anything happened unless you look really close.

Anyways... my advice when peeling kabocha squash is to be careful, especially if you tend to be a clumsy cook like me. My friend Liz had a good suggestion- she said to stick the sliced squash in the microwave for a bit (I did about a minute) and the skin will be softer and easier to peel. She was right! No mishaps this time. We also threw away our old evil vegetable peeler and I used a different one that wasn't as dangerous.


4 cups kabocha squash, peeled and cut in 2" cubes
3 1/2 cups water
2 pinches sea salt
minced fresh parsley (if you have it- I didn't and my soup still tasted great)

1. Choose a kabocha squash that's dark green with an orange spot on the bottom.

2. Cut in half and remove the seeds.

3. Slice and stick in the microwave for about a minute then use a vegetable peeler to peel off the outside skin. It is edible so no worries if you leave a piece here and there. I got fed up with peeling and started carefully cutting off the skin.

4. Place the squash in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the squash is soft.

5. Mash the squash with a potato masher or blend with a handheld blender, right in the pot. Add another pinch of salt and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes longer.

6. Serve the soup hot with parsley on top. Or try some homemade croutons!

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