Recipe: Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup With Chantilly Cream & Candied Pecans
Recipe & photos courtesy of our friend Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos. Luisa says, “Kabocha is a Japanese variety of winter squash. It is popular for its strong yet sweet flavor and moist, fluffy texture, which reminds me of roasted chestnuts. This would be a lovely first course for your thanksgiving dinner.” Time 1.5 hours. Serves 8.
- 5 pounds kabocha squash
- 4 TBL salted butter
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 leek, white part only, chopped
- 1 small sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 4 quarts homemade chicken stock
- 1/2 TBL ground cinnamon
- 1/2 TBL fresh thyme leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- brown sugar, to taste
- 4 oz pecans
- 1 TBL butter
- 4 TBL brown sugar
1 TBL honey
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ground cinnamon to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Place whole squash on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until it can be pierced easily with a toothpick. Remove and allow to cool then cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and reserve.
In a large stockpot, melt the butter and sauté leek, celery and onion until soft over med-high heat. Add the chicken stock, cinnamon and thyme. Add the roasted squash and bring to a light simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat and puree with a hand held blender until smooth (you can also use a regular blender). Strain into a clean container/pan and season to taste with lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the Chantilly cream: Whisk the cream to soft peaks. Fold in cinnamon.
Prepare the candied pecans: Heat the butter in a sauté pan over low heat and add the pecans, stirring occasionally. Gradually add the sugar and honey and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until the sugar and honey binds to the pecans. Pour pecans on parchment paper and let cool. You may need to break apart some pecans that stick to each other.
To serve: ladle the soup into bowls, add a dollop of Chantilly cream to each serving and sprinkle with a few candied pecans.