Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kabocha Squash Soup

This recipe comes from the chef of the San Diego Mariott hotel - with the one exception of butter used in the original recipe, it was almost vegan before I got my hands on it.

Kabocha squash is a variety similar to butternut or pumpkin. Substitute either of those if you can't find it. However, kabocha itself is beautiful, with a deep green skin, and an even sweeter taste than butternut squash, so do try to find it! Read all about it here:

To start, cut a (one and a quarter pound) kabocha squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place, cut-sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until tender. Let cool before scooping out the pulp and discarding the peels.

Melt a teaspoon and a half of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped leek (remember to rinse the leek in a sieve after chopping to get dirt from all the layers!), 6 tablespoons chopped onion, 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh ginger, a dash of black pepper, 2 small chopped garlic cloves, and one 1/2-inch piece of lemongrass, crushed under the flat side of a knife. (Note: I bought fresh ginger for this recipe, but when I peeled it, it was blue inside. I don't know if this means it had gone bad, but I decided it was better to play it safe; instead I used 1/4 tsp. ground ginger from my spice cabinet).

Anyway, saute all that for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add one and 1/4 cups vegetable broth, 3/4 cups water, 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar, and the squash pulp. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain it through a sieve back into the pan, and discard the solids. Add 1/4 cup light coconut milk and 3/4 tsp. grated lime rind to the soup. Return it to a burner over medium-high heat and cook until thoroughly heated.

Ladle 3/4 cup of soup into each of 4 bowls. Sprinkle all 4 servings evenly with a tablespoon of chopped green onions and a teaspoon and a half of chopped fresh cilantro. Each bowl of soup is 160 calories.

kabocha squash $1.89
leek $1.41
onion $0.71
vegetable broth $3.79
light coconut milk $1.99
cilantro $1.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance