Two weeks from today Chris and I will have already moved and living into our rental house in Helena, MT– I can’t believe how fast the past week has gone by! I would say 2/5 of the house is packed up…but that’s not saying too much as we will be gone for nearly a week starting tomorrow on vacation. I have a feeling the next couple of weeks will fly by just as fast 🙂
Now onto the food! Ever since my trip to Vegas, I’ve dreamt about the spicy kabocha soup I ordered at Hachi for an appetizer. It was rich and creamy with crunch from toasted pepitas and a slight kick of heat to the base.
I’ve been on a mission to create a healthier soup that was reminiscent of the original in Vegas and thus, this velvety soup was born! If you have cooked winter squash on hand, this dish is especially easy to pull together. This soup can be served as a light meal, starter or a side dish 🙂
Spicy Kabocha Coconut Soup
4 cups cooked kabocha squash* (I used roasted kabocha for a deeper flavor but steamed is fine too)**
1 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, butter or ghee (use oil for vegan)
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
2 – 3 cups canned or homemade chicken broth (or use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian)
1/2 to 1 whole can light coconut milk
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp raw pepitas
1. In a large pot, heat oil/butter over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until onions are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Add cooked kabocha, red pepper, and broth and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes. Taste, and if you want more heat, add more red pepper.
3. While soup base is simmering, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas and stir constantly until seeds are golden brown and start to pop, just a few minutes. Watch carefully or they will burn! Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.
4. Remove soup pot from heat and either puree in a blender in batches (be careful, this is hot!!!) or use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Ladle into serving bowls, top with toasted pepitas and enjoy!
*To roast kabocha squash, preheat oven to 350 F. Cut kabocha in half, scoop out seeds and stringy insides, then prick flesh with a fork. Brush olive oil on flesh and set halves face down in baking sheet in approximately 1/2 inch of water. Bake for about 45 minutes until flesh is soft.
*Butternut or pumpkin could also be subbed in this recipe with a slight flavor variation but still every bit as yummy!