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Kabocha Ginger Soup with Chard Cashew Swirl

This is a very pleasant, simple soup that lets you enjoy the warming energy of sweet winter squash. One of my favorite combinations, kabocha and ginger help increase circulation while strengthening the lungs and immune system. This recipe is the perfect pick-me-up on a chilly autumn day.

Yield: 
7 cups
Cooking Time:  30 Minutes
Prep Time:  20 Minutes
Ingredients: 
  • 1 Tbsp oil or butter
  • 3 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 6-7 cups chopped kabocha squash (3 pounds)
  • 4½ cups water
  • 1½ tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp sugar or to taste

Chard Cashew Swirl

  • 1 cup lightly steamed swiss chard or spinach
  • ½ cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp madras curry powder
  • ¼ tsp salt or to taste
Instructions: 
  1. Heat the oil or butter in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the ginger, onion, and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they begin to brown.
  2. Add the remaining soup ingredients, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the squash is tender. Meanwhile, prepare the Chard Cashew Swirl (optional).
  3. In batches, place the soup in a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot and add a bit more salt and sugar if necessary. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the swirl (if using), and serve.

Chard Cashew Swirl (Optional)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Notes: 
Tips/Variations
 
To peel or not to peel: The dark green skin of kabocha squash will somewhat dim the brilliant orange color of this soup, so if you’re going for presentation, you may wish to remove it. Otherwise, leave it on. It’s nutritious and doesn’t mar the flavor in any way.

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