As Requested

October 5, 2009

An Unusual Classic

Almost Classic

The one and only Courtney, another fabulous Parkside Runner, requested, er… demanded, a new soup recipe. One with squash, she added, because there was one residing on her counter. Michael calls Courtney a character, and she is. You should meet her, she will equally charm and surprise you. I adore her. This is an almost classic squash and coconut soup, but with the quirky addition of a little miso, just enough to make it complex. And, if I may say so myself, this might be one of the best squash soups I have ever made, and I’ve made a lot. C – this one’s for you. As requested.

Makes: 2 litres/8 cups

1 not-too-big squash, I used a 1.5 kg kabocha squash, aka Japanese pumpkin, but use any meaty squash

2 medium onions, chopped

2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 – 2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons miso paste

3 cups water

1 – 400 ml tin of coconut milk

1/4 cup ribbon coconut, toasted

Pre-heat oven to 500º and slide in a half-sheet pan. Take your squash firmly in hand and hack it – carefully – in two. Scoop out the guts and either discard or reserve the seeds to roast. It will still have its tough skin on, no need to peel it. Smear or “butter” each half on the squash with one tablespoon of the coconut oil. Now, open your super-hot oven and place the squash halves, cut side down, on the super-hot sheet pan. Lower heat to 400º and roast for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add onions. Cook, stirring often, until onions are not quite scorched – dark brown with crispy-tinged edges. Lower heat and add garlic, ginger and salt. Take a deep breath, inhale this really good smell that is now wafting from the pot on big puffs of steam. How GOOD does that smell? It makes your mouth water. Add the miso, you will need to mix it around to break it up. Stir in the water and keep the pot at a simmer. Check the doneness of the squash by giving it a poke, it should give slightly. If in doubt, insert a skewer into it. Once you pierce the still-tough skin, the skewer will sink easily into the squash when it’s done. If you’re patient you can let the squash cool before handling. If not, just go for it. Turn the squash over, the edges will be sticky and almost black, and scoop out the dark, halloween-colored flesh into the waiting pot. Allow soup to simmer for five minutes. Purée the soup any way you like, I used an immersion blender. If you use a blender make sure to fill it under halfway as the hot contents will expand when you blend and not only will you suffer spattery burns, you will also have a helluva mess to clean up. Once the soup is safely back in the pot, stir in the coconut milk and heat gently. Garnish with crisp, golden curls of ribbon coconut.

Kabocha!

Kabocha!

Post-Roast Yawn

Steamy Post-Roast Yawn

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4 Responses to “As Requested”

  1. Julie said

    Clever of you to put Courtney’s name in the first line… she is sure to read the entire post now. This soup looks amazing. I can’t wait to curl around a bowl during a dreary November rain.

  2. court e nay said

    awwww shucks
    Best soup ever!!!

  3. JenG said

    That soups look wonderful!
    And I must agree, I adore that little character Courtney too.

  4. michael said

    Our kabocha is 5 pounds! …leftovers
    This is good with thai chillies

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