A few weeks ago I caught a bad cold, or so I thought. It started with a sore throat and progressed to complete exhaustion, nausea, and vomiting. I knew something was wrong when I could barely move or eat. My husband drove me to urgent care and I was diagnosed with Strep throat. I had to take time off from work, was put on antibiotic, and quarantined myself. The first three days were the worst. I felt like there were pins poking at my throat everytime I tried to talk or eat. My mom’s kabocha soup came to the rescue.
Made with roasted kabocha squash, scented with lemongrass and ginger, and enriched by coconut milk, my mom’s soup was the perfect antidote to my sore throat. Her kabocha squash soup is one of my favorites not only for those times I’m feeling under the weather but for those chilly, autumn and winter days.
Roasted kabocha squash soup
1 2-lb kabocha squash, quartered
2 tbsps olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 knob of ginger, peeled and crushed
1 stalk of lemongrass, cut into 2 inches, crushed
1 can of 14 oz coconut creme
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Micogreen for serving
Freshly ground pepper for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. To prepare the squash, scoop out the seeds and remove as much of the soft, sticky pulp as possible. Brush the squash pieces with olive oil, place cut side down on a roasting tray, and roast in the oven for 60 minutes, turning halfway through.
3. Remove the squash from the oven, remove the skin with a knife, and chop the squash into chunks. Reserve ½ a cup of squash chunks for serving.
4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the ginger and lemongrass.
5. Add in the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.
6. Add in the squash and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
7. Remove the ginger and lemongrass pieces and set aside.
8. Use a handheld blender and puree to a smooth consistency. Add back the ginger and lemongrass.
9. Season with fish sauce and sugar and let it simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes.
10. Ladle soup into serving bowls, top with squash chunks, microgreens and freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.