Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Warm Winter Meal: Roasted Kabocha White Bean Soup


Some vegetables are fascinating in their odd appearances. You have to wonder what treasures rest inside, safely hidden by the strange exterior. Once you scratch the surface of these specimen of nature, beauty often emerges in many unexpected shapes and forms. Celery root is one good example and a personal favorite.  The hairy okra is another.  But today I am all about the Kabocha squash.


This pumpkin-like japanese squash is dull green and warty--well, at least bumpy.  It would stand little chance of winning the National Pumpkin Beauty Contest-- then again maybe it would...

I love it because of its incredible velvety texture, its wonderful color, and its fine nutritional pedigree: Vitamin A and C, calcium, folic, iron, potassium, and list goes on. It's a little tough to cut through and peel, so you'll need a good knife. The effort is well worth it and this soup is simply superb.

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Roasted Kabocha Squash & White Bean Soup (6-8 servings)
You can replace the Kabocha for a cooking pumpkin or a butternut squash but the texture the Kabocha imparts is well-worth seeking it out.  The pears and coconut milk work really well to create a memorable soup.

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 medium zucchini, diced (2 cups)

5 cups prepared kabocha squash, diced
1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tsp sea salt

2 cups Bosc Pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 cups white beans, cooked
1 piece Kombu seaweed (about 2" long--optional)
1 tsp ground turmeric
8 cups water
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.  
  • Place the first 7 ingredients on an oiled cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking process.
  • Transfer roasted vegetable to a large soup pot.
  • Add all the other ingredients except for the coconut milk. Mix well.
  • Set on medium to high heat and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes covered.
  • Add the cup of coconut milk and heat for another 3 minutes.
  • Blend until smooth with an immersion blender.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro in each bowl.
Printable Recipe

Serving Suggestion: Serve with some homemade cornbread.  You can use your own recipe or a GF cornbread mix and then add:
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon of roasted pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup mexican or cheddar cheese
Bake according to packaging. Enjoy!

More Soups:
Velvet Butternut Squash and Lima Bean Soup
Tofu Vegetable Soup with Miso


GF Gidget said...

This soup intrigues me more than you know. I have been looking for a Kabocha Squash all season, but haven't been able to find one! BOO!

Marysol said...

Alexa, your tribute to this wonderful squash was rather poetic. And it just goes to show that a "warty" vegetable, like Kabocha, can be beautiful inside. Not to mention, delicious.

I think the addition of pears and coconut milk puts it way over the top!

If I were you, I'd skip the cookies and milk, and leave a bowl of Kabocha soup for Santa, and his reindeer.
You'll thank me later [G]

Happy Holidays dear Alexa!

Marysol said...

I forgot to ask, what type of bread did you serve with your soup?
It also looks delicious!

Nitsie said...

I hvnt been able to find kabocha squash...looks wonderful

Alexa said...

Japanese grocery stores should carry this interesting squash. Happy holidays!

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