Savory Kabocha Coconut Soup
This soup is like autumn in a bowl, with lots of warming spices and coconut milk to round it out.
1 medium kabocha (or similar winter squash, approximately 3 lbs)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium shallot (or small yellow onion), finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger (or 1" fresh ginger, minced)
1 tsp turmeric
1" piece cinnamon quill (gently pull off a layer)
1 star anise (whole)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 cups pho-style stock (or vegetable/chicken stock or water)
Coconut oil or butter/ghee
Preheat oven to 400°. Carefully cut squash in half, remove seeds, and cut into crescent shapes. Place on baking sheet and coat with oil, salt and pepper.
Roast for about 40 minutes, or until squash is easily pierced with a fork. Once cooled, use a spoon to remove the skin.
Chop shallot, and mince garlic and ginger. Warm coconut oil in a large Dutch oven or pot, and cook the shallot, garlic and ginger until soft. Add turmeric, cinnamon quill, star anise and squash.
Reserve a few tablespoons of coconut milk to top the finished soup, then immediately add the remaining coconut milk and stock to cover. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove whole spices from the pot and use an immersion blender to blend until velvety smooth.
Place each serving in a bowl and swirl in the reserved coconut milk on top. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add a combination of desired toppings: chili flakes, cinnamon, maple syrup, dried cranberries or candied pecans.