When my son was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies, I took it upon myself to dive in, “head first” into all our recipes and start tweaking them to make them safe for him. At the time though, I was still eating like we normally did and just separated everything into a “his” food and “our” food. That was until I made an almost fatal mistake that could have been beyond horrible! It was then, that I decided that our family was going to eat the same.
That was 7 years ago and at the time, there really wasn’t much information I could find on food allergies. The closest thing I could look for was vegan foods since they were free of dairy and eggs. All I had to do was keep the nuts out of it. One of the first cookbooks I bought to help me was The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and thats where I was introduced to a plant-based diet. It is also where I was introduced to a squash called Kabocha. It is basically like a squat pumpkin, that is sweet and versatile.
Although that particular squash recipe in that book wasn’t my favorite at the time, it opened my eyes to its taste and so I tried other ways to make it. One of my most favorite ways to eat this squash, is simply by washing the skin, cutting the squash into quarters, drizzling it with coconut oil the adding some salt and pepper. It is DELISH this way! You can even eat the skin since it cooks to become soft as well.
The other way I like to prepare it, is by blending it up into a soup. Of course you can add whatever spices you like with it, but I tend to lean towards a little bit of heat. I do that by adding the spices of cumin, coriander and garam masala which reminds me of my favorite Indian dishes and makes my belly happy! Its sweet and yet the spices are just subtle enough to add some kick which will stimulate your metabolism and digestive system. Tastes good AND good for you???? Why yes, it is!
Whether you are vegan or not, this recipe is one that you’ll love regardless and its one that even the kids will enjoy. I like to top mine with some pepitas or the seeds from inside that I’ve roasted just like the squash and if you want to make it a little more creamy, try blending with 1/2 C. of non-dairy milk like coconut milk. YUM!
I’d love to hear how if you’ve tried this squash before and how you like to prepare it!
Kabocha Squash Soup
Creamy, winter soup with blended kabocha squash, gently spiced with Indian flavors that warm you from the inside out.
- 1 medium kabocha squash, washed, seeded and cut in 1/4's
- 4 TB coconut oil (divided)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1-2 tsp minced)
- 2 TB. chopped ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 3 C. vegetable stock
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season kabocha halves generously with salt and pepper, drizzle each with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and place flesh side down on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until browned and tender, about 35 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add sliced onion and a pinch of salt, stir, then turn the heat down to medium low. Cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and sweet.
- Add the garlic, ginger and ground spices, turn the heat back up to medium high, and sauté for 1 minute. When the spices are fragrant but not burned, add stock, and another big pinch of salt. Partially cover the soup and let it simmer gently until the squash is ready.
- When the squash is cooked, let it cool slightly, then scrape out the flesh of one half and add it to saucepan. You should have about 2 cups cooked squash. Bring the soup up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and slowly cook for 10 minutes.
- Blend, taste for seasoning and enjoy!
*If you want to make a little bit more creamy in consistency, throw in about 1/3 C. of coconut milk. **I like to top my soup with the seeds from inside that were also roasted and seasoned with salt and pepper.
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