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Kabocha and the First Rain

Some­time last week the ocean changed color. It was this deep sum­mer blue before. Now it is full of sand and kelp, a kind of old-glass green. And yes­ter­day I had to take off my sun­glasses to check if the sky was really such a sharp color of blue or if it was just a trick of the col­ored lenses. Fall is com­ing in it’s del­i­cate and sweet way that it changes this North­ern Cal­i­for­nia Coast. Yes­ter­day two things hap­pened that really announced it’s arrival for me. As I picked up my CSA box the first of the win­ter squash was nes­tled in there amongst the sweet late-season toma­toes. Sec­ond as I was tucked into my bed read­ing way last night rain started to fall in big fat drops. I ran out­side for the tow­els left out to dry shocked at how cold the rain was and happy to watch to the gar­den get a good soaking.

In the spirit of all this change I just want to share soup recipe using the Kabocha and wel­come you all to fall too.

Coconut Milk Kabocha Soup

5 cups veg­etable squash

1 Kabocha squash (about 3.5 pounds, cut in half, seeds removed)

Olive oli (enough to fry onions etc.)

1 yel­low onion

1 tbsp minced garlic

3 stalks lemon­grass (finely chopped)

1/4 fresh grated ginger

1 or 2 kaf­fir lime leaves

1 can coconut milk

10–15 Thai basil leaves chopped fine

Half a bunch of cilantro chopped fine

1/8 cup juli­enned gin­ger bits

Canola Oil for frying

Heat a quar­ter inch of canola oil in a fry­ing pan until it’s hot. Drop one of the juli­enned gin­ger bits in to check and see it’s hot enough. You want them to turn a deep golden brown fast. Fry them all and remove and put them on a paper towel to drain and use as garnish.

Bake squash at 400 degrees face down in a bak­ing dish with a lit­tle water. Cover and bake for 30–35 min­utes or until ten­der. Scoop squash out of the skin.

Fry onions with a pinch of salt and pep­per until they begin to soften. Add squash, gar­lic, ginger,lime leaf, and lemon­grass with the stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and sim­mer for half and hour. Remove the lime leaf and blend. I like to blend half to keep the tex­ture chunkier…you can decide how smooth you want it. Return to pot and add coconut milk and heat on low for 5–10 min­utes. Gar­nish with cilantro, basil, and deep fried gin­ger bits.

Adapted from: Every­day Greens by Annie Somerville


  1. Thank you! its as though you read my mind.….my Kabocha has been eye­ing me while I neglect it on the counter. Now it will become soup, and I will knit while it cooks so as to embrace the crisp cloudy fall won­der­ment. Miss­ing you.

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