Kabocha squash (also known as Japanese pumpkin) has been on my mind for a while. (The Wednesday Chef loves it for its nearly fiber-less flesh and delicious flavor.) My neighborhood market had several on display recently so I picked one up and brought it home for a test-drive.
True confessions - the butternut squash has always been my favorite – it is equally delicious chunked and roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper and fennel or as a pie filling standing in for the more obvious pumpkin or sweet potato.
A close understudy to the butternut squash, the flesh of the Kabocha is firmer and drier and a bit less sweet. For my maiden voyage I decided to give this squash the “chunked and roasted” treatment as an accompaniment to my earlier post on Pork Chops with Tarragon Cream. The results were satisfying, but to me the texture was too dry and I yearned for the sweetness of the butternut.
The next morning I stared into the fridge at the container of leftovers and pondered. After peeling, scooping, slicing and roasting the night before, I was invested – this squash needed salvation. Referring again to my mental list of favorite squash preparations, I decided that the best course of action was to make soup.
So in the pot they went - roasted squash and onions and chicken broth. After the floating bits of orange and brown began to simmer I pureed the lot with an emersion blender, added salt and pepper and then sprinkled on bits of fried pancetta and a swirl of cream – voila! – delicious, ultra creamy Kabocha soup.