Roasted Cauliflower and Kabocha soup

It is fall, it is fall, the leaves are falling EVERYWHERE!!! That means it's time for soup and spiced dishes to warm you. Kabocha squash is by far my favorite hard squash. I was introduced to it by Mioko Schinner when she made a vegan shabu shabu during a Japanese cooking class she conducted at McDougall's. It is delicious simply steamed or roasted even with very little or no seasoning. I came across this delicious looking recipe for a sweet potato cauliflower soup over at Manifest Vegan which became the starting point for this recipe. I kicked up some of the spices and of course dropped the oil and subbed the squash for sweet potato. It came out very tasty and warming. Just what I needed on this chilly morning. 

Roasted Cauliflower and Kabocha soup

1 head of cauliflower
garam masala
val de sol chile powder
1 medium to large kabocha squash peeled and diced
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic diced
4 cups of vegetable broth
3 cups of water
black pepper
black sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces and arrange on baking sheet wlined with silpat or parchment paper. Drizzle a few tablespoons of broth on cauliflower.
Sprinkle first garam masala, pimenton, and chile powder over cauliflower. Use as much or as little as you like. Roast in oven undisturbed  for 30 minutes.Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Heat a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium high heat and add onion and garlic. Put the lid on and let cook for about a minute, stir scraping any bits that are sticking. The lid will help trap some of the moisture being released which will help somewhat with the sticking. If it sticks don't sweat it (sorry for the pun) just scrape it loose. Some color and flavor in the onions is good! Once the onions are translucent add kabocha, broth and water. Bring to full boil and reduce heat to simmer. Partially cover pot with lid and cook until squash is fork tender. Add half of the cauliflower to the pot and puree with immersion blender or traditional blender in batches. Add remaining cauliflower heat through. Adjust spices if necessary and add some black pepper to taste.

As a garnish you can sprinkle some pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds, or scallions.



roasted cauliflower
kabocha is the dark green striated squash on the right


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