A regular in my winter farmers market basket, was I sure surprised to find Kabocha squash at my market in June. I bought one out of fondness and cooler-weather-habit, but it sat and sat for weeks on my counter. I put it in the oven while cooking something else, hoping that inspiration would strike once it was ready to use. No luck. Near the end of its fridge life, I turned it into soup, thinking I could always stash it in the freezer if I still didn’t feel like eating squash in summer. But the green garlic and coconut milk smelled so good, let’s just say, “squash…it’s not just for winter anymore”.
Green Garlic & Kabocha Curry Soup
Roast the squash:
Roast the squash:
1 Kabocha squash, rinsed with water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the stem end off the squash with a sharp chef’s knife. Microwave the squash for 30-60 seconds to soften slightly, then cut it in half and remove and discard the seeds.
Place each half squash, cut side down, in a glass or ceramic baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until tender. Season and serve (see Kitchen Coach tips below) or let cool and store in refrigerator until ready to eat another time or use in a recipe.
Simmer the soup:
1 Kabocha squash, roasted, as above
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 green garlic head (outer layer peeled off), finely diced
1 tablespoon organic ghee
optional: a hot chili pepper, like jalapeño, seeds removed and flesh finely diced
1 cup water
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon Maharaja curry
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1. Melt the ghee in a large saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Gently cook the onions and garlic for about 10 minutes, keeping the heat “medium”, not “high”, and stirring now and then so that the onions get soft but do not brown.
2. Add the spices and salt to the onions, stir and cook for about a minute, then add the coconut milk, water, and squash (use a spoon to scoop the squash from the rind — you don’t want the rind in the soup). Stir to combine, then simmer gently 15 – 20 minutes to develop the flavors, stirring occasionally. Serve with a dollop of nonfat yogurt, a few strips of dried mango and some toasted cashews. For a smoother texture, purée with a hand blender then serve.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
- Roast the squash up to 4 nights in advance of making the soup. (Whenever you are using the oven to roast a chicken or something else that takes some time, pop in a squash so that you can have it roasted and ready to use — either that same night or 3 – 4 nights down the road. Meals almost make themselves if you have the component parts made in advance and waiting in the fridge.)
- Penzey’s Spices is a reliable resource for new flavors and quality staples like vanilla, smokey paprika, and peppercorns.
- Ghee is butter that is cooked gently until the milk solids separate to the bottom of the pan and start to brown, giving the “clarified butter” a slight nutty taste. Ghee is used in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic principles claim that ghee is good for mental clarify, healthy skin and good digestion. I like its flavor and high smoke point, which makes it great for sautéing.