Kabocha squash is a Japanese winter squash. Many times when I would go to the sushi-go-round in Japan, I would order the “pumpkin” tempura and it was always kabocha squash. It is easy to find at any Asian grocery store.
Serves 4 first-course servings
1 kabocha squash (photo below)
2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 TB olive oil
1 TSP cumin
½ TSP turmeric
½ TSP smoked paprika
½ TSP Kosher salt
¼ TSP black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup heavy cream
Cut the kabocha in half. Scoop out all the seeds. The skin is very hard to peel! I cut the squash in thin wedges and place it on a plate. I microwave the wedges in small batches for 2 minutes on high. Remove them from the microwave and let cool until easy to handle. Taking a paring knife cut off the outer rind and cut the squash in chunks. Set aside.
In a medium size saucepan, heat 1 TB olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook about 3 minutes, then add the squash. Stir occasionally while the mixture continues to cook. After about 5 minutes, add the cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook about 1 minute until fragrant. Pour in the vegetable broth in the saucepan. Bring the soup up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender or put the mixture in a blender (hello Vitamix!) and pulse until smooth.
Return the soup to the saucepan and add the heavy cream, warm through and
season with salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe by CTWS
Here is a picture of the squash you are looking for - most likely found at the Asian grocery stores, Lotte or H-Mart!