Hopefully not in the soup.
I have traced and retraced my morning steps at least 7 times if not 10 in the search for my reading glasses. The last place I remember them is atop my head where they nest in my hair, keeping my bangs at bay. But they have disappeared. All I can figure is I leaned over to pick something up and the glasses slid off my head. This isn’t the first time, but usually the glasses hit the ground with a clatter and catch the corner of my eye before I make a fatal step. Today they are nowhere to be found so instead of trying to squint my way through a new recipe, I am going to post another recipe. Luckily typing and reading the computer screen can still be done without glasses. Speaking of glasses, my sunglasses broke out of the blue earlier this week…hmmmm….weird. Its a bad week for me and my glasses.
Keep it Simple Squash Soup
To continue with my soup season, I need to let you in on one of the easiest, most satisfying soups ever. It only takes two ingredients but you can fancy it up a bit by adding more. In this recipe I am adding coconut milk.
This is best made with kabocha squash although butternut squash is a close 2nd. If you are unfamiliar with kabocha, it is a generic name for Japanese winter squash and is one of the larger squashes seen locally in the market. The squatty-bodied kabocha we usually see is a warty, dark green color with faint, grayish-green stripes. The orange meat is brighter and more intense in color and tastes richer and sweeter than other winter squashes. I peel the squash for cosmetic purposes when I am using it for soup or a purée. But, I recommend saving yourself a step and leaving the skin on if you are planning to cube some squash for a side dish. The thin skin is edible and softens up quickly with steaming, sautéing or braising.
A half of a medium size (approx. 3-4 lb.) kabocha will give you approximately 3-4 cups of squash cubes. Serves 4 as a starter soup.
3 cups organic kabocha or butternut squash cubes
2 cups water (vegetable broth can be used but water works!)
1/2 cup organic coconut milk
Halve a kabocha squash. Cover and save half in your refrigerator for another day. Remove seeds and peel the remaining half and coarsely chop into cubes-about an inch by an inch. (Irregular shapes are okay.)
Put the cubes in a soup pot and add water until it is level with the squash. Slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Then cover the pan and lower the heat. Simmer the squash until it is soft and easily mashed. This usually happens surprisingly fast, like within 30 minutes.
Mash or purée the squash. Whisk in 1/2 cup coconut milk or up to a cup if you want a thinner soup. Taste for seasoning. Add sea salt if needed. Voilå. You are done.
I like to top the soup with a few uber-thin slices of roasted onion and a few leaves of fresh cilantro.
The squash and water purée can be curried, candied, herbed or spiced, creamed, brothed…suffice it to say there are many riffs on Squash Soup. With a little less liquid, it can also be a squash purée, served on a plate instead of in a bowl.