Last week I gently requested you visit Kitchen M and browse Em’s posts for beautiful photos and recipes of wholesome food. This week I bring Kitchen M to you yet again. Kabocha squash is in season for a few more weeks, and this springy soup has a rich smokiness (from the burnt onion) and creaminess that’s suitable for cool spring evenings on the veranda, if you happen to have a veranda.
Serves 4-5 big bowls
2 lg. (approx. 3 lbs.) kabocha (For cooking only. If you are serving in kabocha bowls, you will need extra.)
1/2 oignon brûlé (literally, burnt oven. Not sure? Look here.)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 med. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 leek (white part), chopped
6 oz. tomato puree
4 lg. white eggs, lightly beaten
1 Sachet d’Epices (thyme, parsley, and bay leaf)
1 gallon water
Salt & pepper to taste
Sprigs of thyme for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with parchment papers. Cut kabocha into half, deseed, and cut into chunks. Leave a little bit for making fried kabocha, which needs to be cut into very thin strips. Once you make those thin strips, set them aside. Put the cut side down and spread on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle some salt over kabocha and bake for about 45-50 min. or until they are cooked and tender.
While baking kabocha, make oignon brûlé and prepare for the vegetable consommé. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except salt and pepper. Heat the pot over low to medium and bring it to simmer slowly. Stir almost constantly until the raft (clarification mixture starts to adhere into a solid mass) is formed. Continue to simmer for about an hour, uncovered.
Fry kabocha strips in vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy. Set them aside.
Strain the consommé through a cheesecloth or paper-filter-lined strainer. The liquid should be perfectly clear at this point.
When kabocha are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool at room temperature. Once they are cool to touch, cut the skin off and put them in a food processor (depending on the size of your food processor, you might have to divide into multiple batches). Pour about ½ c. of consommé into the food processor. Puree kabocha until the mixture is smooth and consistent.
Slowly mix in pureed kabocha into consommé using a whisk. Put the consommé-kabocha mixture into a large pot and warm it up over low to medium heat. At this time, adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
Serve warm with fried kabocha strips and a sprig of thyme.