Most of us think of squash soup as a wholesome, comforting type of meal without flash nor fuss. The sweetness and creamy texture of the squash, the warmth of the soup and the easiness of the recipe make it a perfect winter meal.
At Baumé Restaurant, we like to prepare this kind of recipe with locally sourced, organic ingredients and turn them into healthy yet refined and playful delicacies that – we hope – will intrigue or encourage your creativity as a cook. For squash soup, I would choose a kabocha squash because, of all types of squashes, it is the most firm and the less watery one. The soup will be richer in texture and flavor as a result. To bring out the sweetness and warmth even more, I like to serve it with something crunchy, tangy and/or cold.
I find that the soup pairs beautifully with caramelized masago rice and shiso icecream (shiso is a minty and peppery tasting leaf used in Japanese cuisine, notably in sushis). But there are many other options out there. To please the eye as much as the palate I like to present the different elements of the soup separately and combine them slowly as shown below.
As an encouragement for you to try different variations on your own, I am including the base recipe.
Kabocha Squash Soup
1 small kabocha squash, about 1-2 pounds
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
½ gallon spring water or enough to cover the vegetables
4 Tbs butter or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
(Note: green celery ribs are to be avoided as they can turn the soup
brown. Use instead the inner yellow part of the celery)
Peel the kabocha, removing as much of the green skin as possible.
Halve the squash and remove seeds and stem.
Chop the kabocha into large chunks.
Place all vegetables into a large, heavy bottom pot and cover with
Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. When vegetables have cooked
thoroughly, take off heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Blend in small batches, covering blender with a towel to prevent
Return to the stove and finish with butter to taste.
NOTE: can be garnished with crème fraiche or steamed milk, seasoned
with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice and sprinkled with toasted pumpkin seeds.