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Monday, January 7, 2013

Creamy Kabocha Squash Soup w/ Toasted Walnuts, Honey, & Truffle Oil {12 Weeks of Winter Squash}

I've mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of veggie puree-style soups.  At risk of offending, they remind me of baby food.  Every single time.  Without fail.  I always find myself adding "just a little bit more" liquid when I try making one.  In other words, if I can see the ripples of the puree piled on itself in the bowl, it's not soup.  It's more like applesauce.  Or squashsauce.  Or carrotsauce.  Or what-have-you-sauce.

You might remember this beautifully brothy Buttercup Squash Soup I made last January.  Compared to that soup, this stuff is thick.  But that is neither here nor there, because other than the fact that both soups contain winter squash, they're pretty much nothing alike.  Oh wait, they also both have nuts... that one almonds, this one walnuts.  But other than that, no resemblance.

For some reason, I feel the urge to clarify that I don't dislike thick soups... I'm huge fan of chowders and bisques and stews and chilis.  And even beautiful creamy pureed soups like this one.   It's just those darn glumpy purees that scream baby food that I tend to raise my nose at.
Anyhoo, this soup features kabocha squash, which once roasted, is creamy and sweet.  The richness of cream lends a silkiness that almost makes each bite feel naughty.  The miniscule drizzles of honey and truffle oil on top volley for your attention... sweet or musky, sweet or musky.  And then there is those earthy, oily, toasted walnuts that lend crunch to each spoonful.

It's pretty fabulous.

Creamy Kabocha Squash Soup w/ Toasted Walnuts, Honey, & Truffle Oil

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: ~1 hour (mostly unattended)
Keywords: soup/stew squash truffle oil nuts American fall winter

Ingredients (~7 c.)
  • 1 Kabocha squash
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ~4 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • chopped, toasted walnuts
  • honey
  • white truffle oil
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Cut Kabocha in half from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds.

Drizzle squash with a little olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Set, cut side down, on prepared tray. Slide into preheated oven and roast until tender, ~45 minutes. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, scoop the tender flesh out of the skin (you should get ~24 oz.).

Combine roasted squash with chicken stock in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for ~10 minutes. Puree until smooth with an immersion blender (or do this carefully in a regular blender). Whisk in the heavy cream and heat until it is just about to bubble, then turn off the stove.

Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Ladle into warm bowls or mugs and garnish each serving with a couple of tablespoons of toasted walnuts, a long drizzle of honey, and several drops of white truffle oil.

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This is already week 11 of our 12 Weeks of Winter Squash! Head on over to check out what my co-host Joanne made today...and then please share your winter squash posts with us below.

1. Pomegranate-Glazed Eggplant, Tempeh, and Squash

2. Creamy Kabocha Soup w/ Walnuts, Honey, Truffle Oil

3. Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

4. Butternut Squash Flatbread

5. Raw Beet and Butternut Slaw

6. Butternut Squash and Quinio Salad with Honey Balsm

7. Parmesan Roasted Squash

8. Kabocha squash and coconut pudding
I am sharing this post with:
FOTM at La Cocina de Leslie Souper_Sundays2