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Kabocha Squash Soup

Kabocha Squash Soup

www.karistaskitchen.com

I have a brother.  I also have a twin sister, who I completely adore, but this particular post is about my  brother… and Kabocha Squash.

Yep, my baby brother.  My “Bro” as my sister and I love to call him.  Youngest of three, six feet of handsome, über intelligent and the best brother a gal could have.

Kabocha Squash Soup

Kabocha Squash Soup

My brother, Cameron, married the most beautiful Colombian gal, Paula, and they have the most darling of children, my niece and nephew.  Talk about love.  Those two little ones stole my heart the minute they were born.

Can you tell I’m completely in love with my family? I know, lots of gush in this post.  But I can’t help it.

www.karistaskitchen.com

My brother, the hiker and kayaker

My Brother and his family live in Japan.  Work took them to Japan, but it’s now home.  I can hear it in my Brother’s voice, the way he passionately talks about the food, culture, the new friends and all the adventure to be discovered in a foreign land.

Of course the food is always a highlight of our Skype conversations. 🙂  If my brother wasn’t a genius academic, he’d probably be a chef.  When we get together for family reunions, it’s full on hanging out in the kitchen preparing all kinds of delicious food, lots of new wine to sip, a few fave cocktails and of course, always lots of laughter.

www.karistaskitchen.com

My sister, my brother and me 🙂

Cam and I try to chat often and last time we chatted he mentioned dinner at a friend’s home.  He talked about the most amazing Kabocha squash soup.  Simple, sweet, creamy and just a little bit decadent, with a hint of spice.  Perfect for an Autumn evening.

That conversation got my culinary wheels spinning and I just had to make this soup.  I often roast Kabocha squash and sometimes use it in place of pumpkin if I can’t find a good sugar pie pumpkin.  But I’ve not made Kabocha Squash soup.  Until today.

Like the butternut squash, Kabocha squash is slightly sweet and feels a bit like sweet potato in texture.  Spices such as cinnamon, five spice powder or a curry blend, beautifully compliment the subtle honeyed flavor.

If you can’t find Kabocha in your local market, many Japanese substitute with Kuri pumpkin or Sugar Pie Pumpkin.

I wish you all a most delicious week and leave you with an old Japanese Proverb“One kind word can warm three winter months.” 

Loads of Love,

Karista

Kabocha Squash Soup

Adapted by a recipe from Kaori Sakakibara

Deepest thanks to my brother’s friend, Kaori Sakakibara, for sharing her recipe.

ありがとうございます

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 Kabocha squash (should yield about 1 ¾ – 2 cups cooked squash)

¼ cup heavy cream

2 cups veggie broth

Pinch or two of cinnamon (to taste, about ½ teaspoon)

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Optional: 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 400F.

I roast Kabocha squash the same way I roast butternut and pumpkin.

Slice the stem section off the squash first and then slice the squash in half (very carefully).  Scoop out the seeds.

Brush the cut sides of the squash with a little oil. Lay the squash halves cut side down in a glass baking dish and add a little water to the pan.   Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and skins are golden brown and toasty.

Once the squash has cooled, scoop out the pulp and place it in a blender, food processor or vitamix and puree.

Add the tablespoon of butter to a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Once the butter has melted, whisk in the squash puree with the heavy cream and veggie broth.

Heat to a light simmer, adding additional veggie broth if you’d like a thinner soup.

Whisk in the cinnamon (and fresh ginger if using) and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Keep the soup warm for about 10-15 minutes to allow all the delicious flavors to develop.  Serve warm as a first course or as a light dinner with a fresh salad of winter greens.

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45 Comments

  • Reply
    yummychunklet
    October 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Cute flashback photo!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Hahaha!! Thank you 🙂 I always loved that picture of my little brother. He was a chubby little guy and very jolly.

  • Reply
    Jodi Boatright
    October 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    My comment isn’t food related, but when I look at that picture of you three, all I see is Amelia!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Jodi I thought the same! I think she looks alot like my sister, especially when my sister was younger. Hope all is well and have a fabulous week!

  • Reply
    EverydayMaven
    October 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    What a beautiful post Karista! Your family sounds amazing – I bet holidays are so much fun. I am a big fan of Kabocha squash and don’t buy enough of it. I am putting one in my cart next shopping trip now.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Alyssa! I adore my brother and sister. We don’t see each other during the holidays though. We’re so spread out. Cam’s in Japan, my sister and her family in Florida. So we try to meet once a year, or every other year for a family reunion. Thank God for Skype and texting!
      Have a fabulous week!

  • Reply
    Jess
    October 28, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Since moving to Asia, I’ve completely fallen for kabocha squash – you describe it perfectly, such a nice, subtle sweetness. Loved this story about your siblings and the photo – sounds like such a fun family!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:04 am

      Hi Jess, We finally got Kabocha in our market a few years ago and for some reason this year it seems to have become quite popular in the states. I heard there are several growers in Northern California, which is why we can get it so readily here in Seattle.
      I do completely adore my brother and sister. I had quite the unusual childhood and my brother and sister and I always looked out for each other. We’re a team the three of us and I’m so thankful I have them. They’re hilarious to boot! Constant laughter when were together. 🙂

  • Reply
    Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    October 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I had to google Kabocha! But I did recognize them at once.. what a lovely soup for fall! I really enjoyed reading about your brother, it’s wonderful to have a tight-knit family, even over the miles! My youngest brother also works and lived in Japan and now in Hong Kong..for years! I have always wished he would come home, but he truly loves it there!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

      Oh Wow! Your brother too! Smidge, I didn’t realize how much my brother and his wife would love Japan. Thought they might be there for a few years and then return home. But they love it. It’s been about five years now and I think they might end up staying. 🙁 But thankfully we have Skype and texting!
      Love Kabocha. I always roast it but when my brother mentioned soup it sounded so divine I just had to make it. LOL!
      Have a lovely week! Karista

  • Reply
    emmycooks
    October 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Sounds so good! I love kabocha squash, and especially in soups. I also love Japan and Japanese food–we were lucky enough to spend a month there a few years ago and stayed with a family that owned a restaurant–yum! I have a little notebook filled with notes on the family’s recipes and look forward to adding this authentic Japanese recipe to my collection. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:10 am

      A month! So fun Emmy! I think that would be the most wonderful part of traveling abroad… all the fantastic cuisine. I haven’t been yet, but were hoping a trip next year. 🙂

  • Reply
    thecompletecookbook
    October 29, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Karista, what a beautiful love filled post. I never knew you were a twin. I have twin brothers. 🙂
    Fantastic soup too!
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Thanks Mandy! That’s so funny, you have twin brothers and were you the only girl? My poor brother was not only the youngest but had to put up with twin sisters. We were so bossy! Poor kid! Hahaha!
      Have a fabulous week!

      • Reply
        thecompletecookbook
        October 30, 2012 at 12:35 am

        Yip, I am the only girl and younger by 4 years. I went through stages of them wanting to protect me to being typical big bully brothers. Perfectly normal. 😉

  • Reply
    Profiteroles & Ponytails
    October 29, 2012 at 3:34 am

    I don’t know where to begin…that was such a lovely post. I am going to need to follow Barb’s lead and google the kabocha to see if I recognize it. I love that your conversations with your brother often focus on food — something magic happens when we share our passions with the people we hold dear. I can’t help but wonder how you posted with Japanese characters. I studied Japanese at university for a brief period and once could recognize (and write) all of the characters of one of the character systems.

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Hi Barb, I wish I could tell you I know Japanese but I don’t. 🙁 I asked my brother to send me the characters in Japanese to say thank you to his friend for the soup recipe. He and his wife and both my niece and nephew can now speak and write Japanese. My niece and nephew are both tri-lingual as their primary language at home is Spanish, English with American friends and then Japanese at school. Kind of blows my mind! LOL!

  • Reply
    gardenfreshtomatoes
    October 29, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Yummy, easy soup – kabocha grows easily here, and some of the local growers plant it every year.
    There’s nothing like having a cool Baby Bro, is there? 😉

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

      I love that about his soup, so easy, and so easily changed with different spices. A few farms in California started growing Kabocha several years ago. We are so fortunate now to have a steady supply. 🙂 So glad they’re doing the same back East! Stay safe during this storm. I hope all is well!

  • Reply
    frugalfeeding
    October 29, 2012 at 7:14 am

    What a great colour, Karista! Looking magnificent!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Frugal!! It tasted pretty magnificent too. 🙂 Have a fabulous week!

  • Reply
    Kristin Taylor Bryan
    October 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

    I love this recipe, K! I also love you and our baby Bro… 🙂

  • Reply
    Cara Olsen
    October 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Karista, I had no idea you are a twin! That picture of the 3 of you is adorable! And you and your sister are nearly facsimiles of one another; though I imagine you are as different as can be. Your brother and his family sound like lovely people, and how obviously you all adore each other makes me smile. I wish I were closer to my bother and sister, but it just never happened that way, and while I tell myself it’s never too late, proximity continues to play a big part of the “distance” between us. Luckily I have been blessed with a handful of wonderful people I feel grateful to call family. 😉

    This soup looks wonderful! So creamy!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      I too love that picture of the three of us. My brother was the cutest roly poly when he was little. My sister and I are definitely two very different people, but we still sometimes choose the same things without knowing it. Like a pair of shoes, or a blouse. It’s funny, I’ll see a picture of her and I’ll call her to say I bought the same blouse! We’ve done this over the years with furniture, wine, clothing, even decor. LOL! She’s a high level marketing director and a hot tamale at business. I on the other hand couldn’t sell my favorite pair of shoes.
      And you are so blessed to have such wonderful people to surround you. Your husband and in-laws sound lovely and sound like they have a ton of love for you. 🙂
      Hope all is fabulous and that you’re enjoying the Autumn season Cara! Hugs, Karista

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    October 30, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Karista you have not changed a bit just as cute as a button in that picture. I adore your blue Japanese pottery… really makes your squash soup vibrant colored. Arigato gozarimasu for sharing your recipe. Take care, BAM

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 30, 2012 at 7:54 am

      Aww… Thanks Bam. Not so sure I qualify any longer as cute as a button, but my brother sure does. 🙂 My sister in law and brother gave me the beautiful Japanese pottery for my birthday last year. It’s so lovely, I just had to use it for the soup. Hope you’re doing well!

  • Reply
    Tandy
    October 30, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Hope you are safe from hurricane Sandy!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 30, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Yes, thank you Tandy. We are on the west coast (pacific) opposite side of the storm. However, we have friends and family on the east coast. So far all is good for them. Thanks for your well wishes!

  • Reply
    wendy@chezchloe
    October 30, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I love this cosmic world. We are on different continents simultaneously reading about each other.
    That is a lot of moves… One more topic for coffee. I’m back to usa soon.
    Such sweet thoughts and feeling for your siblings. Sad that you all are so far apart but lucky to all be fulfilled in life. Modern technology does help bridge thd gap.
    cheers….x
    Delicious warm soup. w

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 31, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Wendy, one of the many things I’ve come to love about food blogging. All the new worldwide friends 🙂 Yes, coffee when you’re settled would be lovely!

  • Reply
    Christie Ellis (@pepperlynnblog)
    October 30, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I love these kinds of soups this time of year, Karista. Not a lot of work, but so satisfying and flavorful. Added it to my “Soup” pin board!

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 31, 2012 at 8:46 am

      I so agree Christie. Sometimes with my busy schedule “easy” is the operative word. 🙂 Hope you had a fabulous trip back East. Missed you at Foodportunity too!

  • Reply
    kelley {mountain mama cooks}
    October 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    What a sweet, sweet post! I love the picture of you and your siblings; pretty darn adorable! You have such kind words for your siblings, it’s so refreshing! Thanks for making me want to call my own brother and say hello. The soup looks delicious. I love the heartier winter squashes. They are making regular appearances on my dinner table right now! xoxo

    • Reply
      Karista
      October 31, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Kelley. The three of us have always looked out for each other, kind of like the three muskateers. 🙂 Thankfully we’ve remained close even though we are all thousands of miles apart. I too love the hearty winter squashes. One of my fave on your blog is the Sausage Stuffed Delicata. YUM!! Any snow your way yet? Hugs my friend!!

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 1, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I haven’t used kabocha squash but this recipe will have me looking for it in the market.

    • Reply
      Karista
      November 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      It’s a lovely change from pumpkin Karen. And fun to use something new 🙂

  • Reply
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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    janelle
    November 19, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    A few things. First: I snagged some kabocha squash seeds from a backyard barter over 6 months ago. I successfully grew some;) and now need to make this soup! 2. Didn’t know you had a twin and younger brother;). Love getting to know you. You eschew warmth. I love that about you.

    • Reply
      Karista
      November 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Janelle. I believe I adore all things winter squash! Yep, got a twin and little bro. Love those two. Just saw my sis in Napa few weekends ago. It’s been two years! We’re spread out all over the world. Literally. LOL! Happy Holidays sweet friend!

  • Reply
    Alice
    October 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Delicious food and delightful memories Karista. My family is a bit spread out over Australia and my little bro is in Shanghai (for some 7-8 yrs now!) I fully appreciate the bond you share with your family, it sounds like a familiar story for others too! I also love your styling and the teapot and those delicate bowls/vessels make this soup look all the more perfect.

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