In an ideal world my kids would eat the exact same food as the grown-ups in our family. One dish, done!
Of course, the reality is somewhat different—not because the little ones are all mac and cheese and the adults are all salmon en croûte – but because I crave spice in my food that unfortunately, their blander palates find too much.
This Kabocha squash soup strikes the right balance of being child-friendly with an option to spice it up with toasted spicy pumpkin seeds as a garnish.
I also added my new favorite ingredient: smoked paprika – it elevates any dish with its smokey undertones.
Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
Ingredients – serves 8
For the Soup
- 1 Kabocha squash (about 4lb) halved and seeded
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, use the white part finely chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
- A generous handful of pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp paprika (smoked or otherwise)
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- A dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream
- Chopped fresh herbs – chives or parsley
First roast the squash in a pre-heated oven at 400°F.
Place squash on an oiled baking tray and roast squash cut side down. When cool enough to handle scrape the flesh away from the skin and discard the skin.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Fry the onion and leeks gently until they turn translucent. Then add the carrots and fry for a few more minutes until they start to soften slightly. At this point you can add the squash and garlic and fry for about a minute more.
Add the stock and water and season, adding the paprika.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes allowing the flavors to develop.
Using a blender puree the soup, adding more water if you think your soup is too think.
As always, use caution when blending hot liquids. Reheat if necessary before serving.
Toasted pumpkin seeds
In a small pan heat the seeds over a medium heat. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika, salt and cayenne. Keep the seeds moving in the pan so they don’t burn and heat for a few minutes until your kitchen is filled with a wonderful pungent aroma. If you make too many just store in an airtight container, they will last a few weeks.
Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on the soup with a generous dollop of sour cream of crème fraiche and fresh herbs.