Recipe: Kabocha squash soup
– By Tenille Hoogland
My mom has been making kabocha squash soup since I was a girl. Every batch she makes is different with varying amounts of ginger, spices and often a ripe pear for a hint of sweetness. Although triathletes love carbs, kabocha squash has less than half the carbohydrates than the more popular butternut squash. The coconut makes up for the lack of carbs as it is high in medium-chain triglycerides. Like carbohydrates, this type of fat can be used immediately for energy without being stored, making it a perfect energy source. It also is an amazing source of beta-carotene (precursor to Vitamin A); provides a source of iron, vitamin C and some B vitamins. But the biggest bonus is that you will absolutely love it.
1/2 kabocha squash, seeds removed (approximately 4 cups cooked squash)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large leek finely sliced (white and green part)
1 tbsp ginger minced
2 kaffir lime leaves (or bay leaves)
4 — 5 cups water with 2 cubes soup boullion
1/2 tin coconut cream (coconut milk is OK too)
2 tsp fresh oregano (finely chopped) or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp lemon squeezed
1/2 organic lemon rind grated
Add fresh pepper and salt to individual bowls to taste
Prepare the Kabocha Squash (can be done ahead of time)
1. Preheat oven to 400 C.
2. Cut the kabocha squash in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a flat baking tray lined with parchment paper with the green rind up. Bake for 45–55 minutes or until the squash is completely cooked. You can tell it’s cooked if a sharp thin knife in the flesh slides through easily. Allow the flesh to cool and scoop out from the rind using a spoon. This can be done the day before or ahead of time.
Prepare the remaining ingredients
1. Slice the leek thinly using both the white and green parts. Once the white portion is sliced, remove the first layer of green upper stem. Continue to use the inner remaining green portion until 1 — 2 inches from the top. Ensure you wash thoroughly once sliced to remove all oil debris.
2. Mince the ginger finely and grate the lemon rind.
3. Sauté the leek on medium heat with the kaffir lime leaves in the coconut oil until cooked thoroughly. Toward the end add the fresh ginger.
4. Add the water and squash to this mixture and bring to a near boil. Add the bouillon and reduce the heat to very low. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves, place to the side.
5. Using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Add remaining ingredients stirring gently together until the coconut cream is mixed in. Add the leaves to continue enriching the flavour, but don’t spoon the bay leaves into the bowls.
6. Dish into bowls and enjoy.
NOTE: Although this recipe only calls for half of the squash you can easily double the recipe and have lots of leftovers for freezing. Add only 8 cups of water to start and add more water as desired.