Kabocha Squash Soup
This recipe is pretty easy overall, with the hardest part being scooping out the squash. It can be fun if you decide not to make it a chore, and take the time to nibble on some of the browned pieces of squash because they are delicious. You can technically eat the skin of roasted kabocha, but I’m not a fan, so do as you please.
- 1 medium-sized kabocha squash, cut in half and de-seeded
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon cumin, plus more to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1/2 chard (Swiss, green, or red), stalks removed and cut into 1-inch ribbons
- Dried red chile flakes, for garnish (optional)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat the squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, salt, freshly ground black pepper and cayenne. Place cut side down on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until soft and flesh is browned, about 30 minutes (you should be able to poke a knife through the skin with mild resistance. It will be mostly cooked through and soft). Scoop out the meat and set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, pinch of salt and stir occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in another teaspoon of cumin, if desired, and ginger; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the stock, squash and adjust heat to maintain a simmer. Stir in the chard and cook until squash fully softens and begins to break down, about 10 minutes more. Garnish with chile flakes, if desired.