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