Coconut Red Kuri Squash Soup
Oh, soup season.
I’m so thankful that you’re here, cheering up and warming up even the darkest of days (that darkness now kicks in around 5 PM, making it feel like 9 o’clock at night – ughh) when I need a big bowl of piping hot comfort. Soup season, with its glorious varieties like thick hearty winter squash purees, brothy and fragrant noodle soups, cozy and sweet tomato soups, stick to your ribs chili varieties, and the kinds of soups that have been passed down from generation to generation – all these glorious soups are making the sudden passage from fall to winter somewhat more tolerable.
But I won’t say the “W” word yet, as we still have a few more weeks of joyful and beautiful autumn to get through first before even thinking about Christmas and the Holiday’s. Who cares about a red cup controversy when I’m still trying to focus on Thanksgiving, the end of my fall term, finals, and copious amounts of projects to get through?
Deep breath; all will be well – Thanksgiving prep and feasting including. Besides, there’s squash soup to cheer a girl up and keep her on her toes. Once again, thank goodness for soup season. With soup, its magical powers allow you to cook a giant batch to keep throughout the week, or better to be frozen and kept for up to 6 months for a last minute cozy dinner idea. So basically, soup keeps you sane.
Anyways, let’s discuss the delicious and hearty goodness of a pureed winter squash soup – is there anything better? Of course classic butternut squash soup is always a win, and delicata and kombocha squash make a delicious soup too, but I think red kuri squash soup may steal the show in the soup department. Red kuri squash is also known as uchiki kuri squash in its place of origin, Japan. In Japanese, the word kuri translates to chestnut, which is the main flavor profile found in red kuri squash. This gives the squash, and our soup, the most delicious nutty and rich flavor, which just can’t be beat.
Like all winter squash, red kuri squash is an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary for staying healthy and well during these autumn months. These include Vitamin A and beta-carotene, a carotenoid associated with immune, vision, and skin health as well as being protective against oxidative damage. Other goodies include Vitamin C for immune system support, B Vitamins like riboflavin and thiamine, which support cell metabolism, calcium for nerve function and bone function, potassium, iron, and fiber. This super vegetable is roasted and then pureed with roasted onions, vegetable broth, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, and spices for the creamiest and most nourishing taste. I’ve also added in a few pinches of red pepper flakes, but feel free to take those out if spicy isn’t your thing.
Nutty red kuri squash + healthy fat filled coconut milk + warming spices from ginger, cumin, and curry powder + flavorful onion and apple cider vinegar = another reason why soup season is my absolute favorite.
Coconut Red Kuri Squash Soup
1 large red kuri squash (around 2-2 ½ pounds)
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 white onion, quartered
1 ½ cups vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt (+ more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut red kuri squash into quarters and scoop out the seeds. Roast for 45-60 minutes, cut side up, until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork and lightly browned. When 20 minutes is left on the squash, add quartered onion to baking tray and allow to roast for the remainder of the time.
Allow squash to slightly cool before handling. Gently scrape squash flesh from skin and add to the base of a high-speed blender. (Discard skin, or eat as a snack!) Add the remainder of the soup ingredients to the blender and blend on high for 5 minutes until squash soup is creamy and piping hot! Add more salt to taste if necessary.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with a dollop of coconut milk and a sprinkle of black pepper, red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
-Crunchy elements work really well on top of this soup as a garnish. I like crusty croutons, pumpkin seeds, roasted chickpeas, or even a kale chip or two for some texture!
-If you do not have a high-speed blender, you can simply puree the squash and onions with an immersion blender and add the puree to a large soup pot along with the remainder of the ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until flavors have developed and soup is hot, about 10-15 minutes.