This is an Asian inspired pumpkin soup made with kabocha and a hint of miso. It is creamy and loaded with umami flavor.
Pumpkin season…all kind of squashes…I love them all…all kind of shape and texture…every different squash has its own quality.
Since my parents got a lot of Japanese influence when growing up, our table too was a reflection of it…and kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) was often seeing, either steamed or sauté…and of course I carried all my mom’s cooking tips with me…and often I call her to find out how she did this or that…and I add my “touch” into it.
I have been seeing this squash all year round in regular grocery store, even at Trader Joe’s…this squash is somehow sweeter than the other species, and the texture is somehow in between sweet potato and the flaky chestnut.
I usually scrub well the skin, cut into 1 to 1 ½ in cubes and steam or cook with a bit of water and serve as a side dish or add to salad. Because I decided to make soup, I removed the skin, so the color of the soup would look nicer, but if you do not care for it, go ahead and leave the skin.
The combination of the sweetness of the kabocha with the salty miso gives the ultimate “umami” flavor, a very unique and exquisite one.
Approximately 500g kabocha, steamed
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoons olive oil
5 to 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons white miso diluted in 2 tablespoons of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Scallion for garnish
Wash the kabocha squash and dry it before cutting. Please be careful as the squash is somehow very hardy. Remove the seeds and the pulp with a large spoon. Cut into slices of approximately 1 in wedge. You can use the seed for roasting.
Place the kabocha in a steamer with enough water. Steam the squash under high heat for approximately 10 minutes. Once cooked it can be served cold in salad or drizzled with miso sauce. For the soup continue with the following.
In the medium pot sauté onion and garlic with olive oil under medium heat until the onion is soft, be careful not to burn.
Add the broth either vegetable or chicken. Then add the steamed kabocha and the diluted miso paste.
Let it boil for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat. At this point you can either transfer the soup mixture to a blender or use a emulsion stick to puree the soup.
Pour the mixture back to the pot and continue to cook for another couple of minutes in medium-low heat.
Adjust for salt and pepper and more liquid (broth) according to your taste.
Garnish with finely chopped scallion or pumpkin seeds.
Did you know that kabocha like all the squash is rich in beta carotene? Moreover, it is rich in vitamin Ciron and potassium. Kabocha is available all year round and the skin is completely edible.