My Golden Kabocha Pumpkin
About six years ago, a Shiatsu Therapist suggested I make a soup from the sweet Japanese Kabocha Pumpkin. She told me that medicinally it is very calming and soothing to the body, especially to the spleen, pancreas, and stomach. Apparently, these organs needed calming.
She gave me the simplest recipe. It was fantastic. The original recipe called for the addition of Adzuki beans, but since I don’t eat beans now, (according to my blood type!) I just leave them out.
I made the soup today. I’m in love with this soup. It’s sweet, filling, has an incredible aroma and is so simple – my family loves it too.
In the past I played around with the ingredients thinking that more was better and would use different stocks trying to ‘add’ more goodness to the soup. What I’ve discovered is that it’s best like this.
The Kabocha is a variety of Japanese Winter Squash. It is naturally sweet and big on flavour. Kabocha pumpkins are usually green – well, at least that is how I came to know them until yesterday, when I found a shipment of Golden Kabocha at my local grocer.
Here is a picture of a typical Kabocha.
1 TBSP. Ghee or Olive Oil
1 Medium Kabocha (Green or Golden), cut into cubes (volume of approx. 8 Cups).
1 Medium Sweet Yellow Onion, chopped (approx. 1 Cup)
3-5 Medium Carrots, chopped (approx. 2 Cups)
4-5 Cups of Fresh Water
1/2 tsp. Kelp Granules (or 1/4 tsp. salt)
1. Wash & Dry Kabocha Pumpkin
Caution: the Kabocha has a very hard skin, exercise caution when cutting through.
2. Cut Kabocha in half – scoop out the seeds and strings. Cut the pumpkin into manageable slices with the intent to cut away the hard skin. Once the hard skin is removed, cut pieces into small cubes.
(The soup will be pureed at the end. If you don’t want to puree the soup you may choose to cut your pumpkin into smaller pieces and serve as is.)
3. Discard/ compost the hard skin, seeds, stem and bottom knot. (below)
4. Wash and chop medium onion.
5. Wash, peel and chop carrots.
(keep the skins on the carrots if you prefer, just be sure to scrub them clean first).
6. Heat large soup pot on medium heat.
7. Add 1 TBSP. Ghee (or Olive Oil).
8.Add Kabocha, onions and carrots. Stir well to coat vegetables with Ghee or oil.
9. Allow vegetables to soften for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until some of the onions look just shy of becoming caramelized on the bottom of the pot. In other words, until the onions start to become golden and somewhat translucent.
(after 8 – 10 minutes on medium heat).
10. Add 4-5 Cups of Water.
(Right: 5 Cups of Water)
I decided to put in 5 Cups of water. I could have put in 6 but I decided to add more later if need be.
If you put in too much water and the soup is too runny you can just reduce the soup by cooking it without a lid which will allow some of the liquid to evaporate and therefore thicken up your soup naturally.
11. Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
12. This is what the soup looks like after 45 minutes. (below)
13. Puree until smooth.
14. Add 1/2 tsp. Kelp Granules. And Puree again.
15. The finished product, which I ate immediately after taking this photo.
Kabocha Pumpkin Soup, garnished with fresh parsley.