I failed at Halloween this year. No pumpkins on my doorstep, no epic pranks, no elaborate costumes, nothing. I guess that’s a sign that my son is truly growing up. In the past I’ve had as much fun as him celebrating the holiday, helping him come up with unique and memorable outfits to celebrate the season. One year I spent a whole month knitting a Hogwarts scarf so he could be an authentic Harry Potter. The time he decided he wanted to be a six-armed, six-eyed pirate I went all out, making extra arms with my glue gun and fishing wire. It makes me a bit sad that these rituals we’ve always enjoyed together have come to an end. My husband was always against dressing up or celebrating the holiday so now that he’s gone, I’m a little sad I didn’t make more of an effort. So instead on Halloween night, I found myself turning to the kitchen to pass the time with this red Kuri squash soup.
Red Kuri is my favorite winter squash, it has a beautiful vibrant color, and the flavor is sweet and nutty, reminiscent of chestnuts. If you have trouble finding a red Kuri, butternut or kabocha will make a great substitution. This soup is vegan but full of flavor thanks to the coconut milk and miso paste. I love a pureed creamy soup but always crave a little something crunchy on top, so I dressed it up with some roasted cashews and black sesame seeds. This soup keeps well in the fridge and tastes better the next day so it would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table.
We’ve been invited to join a friend for Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m sorely tempted to accept. My only concern is that I don’t want her to feel that she has to alter or cook especially for my son since he can’t tolerate any dairy products. Let’s be honest, Thanksgiving more than any other holiday is an excuse to consume as much butter and cream as possible, and I don’t want to make things difficult. Over the last few years, I’ve compiled a decent collection of Thanksgiving dishes that are dairy-free. However, I also realize that the holiday is at its heart about spending time with loved ones and enjoying each others company so we’ll probably go and I will just bring along something that I know he can eat. I’ve been dreading getting through the holidays on our own, but I know I can choose to hide and isolate myself or get our there and create some new traditions and rituals. We don’t have any family in Portland besides my husband’s mother, so it’s just the two of us. I was trying to schedule a trip to New York for Thanksgiving, but it won’t work out with basketball, so instead we are headed to New York next week. I’m excited to be able to eat my way through the city and show my son some of my favorite landmarks. I’ll be sure to take some pictures to share with you all!
If you make this red Kuri squash soup, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a picture #scalingback on Instagram so I can see what you came up with!
- 1½ pounds red Kuri squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, divided
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- ¼ cup chopped roasted cashews
- 3 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the squash and shallot with the melted coconut oil and red pepper flakes, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables into a single layer and then roast for 35-45 minutes until the squash is tender and the shallots start to caramelize.
- In a large pot heat the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-low heat. Using a Microplane, grate the ginger into the pot and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is fragrant but don't let it burn. Add the apple cider vinegar and cook for another minute just to reduce slightly and deglaze the pan. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk together to incorporate and then add 1½ cups to the pot, reserving the rest for garnish. Add the squash and vegetable stock and cook the soup for 5-10 minutes to meld the flavors. Working in batches, puree the soup in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add a ladle of the soup back to the pot and whisk the in the miso to make it easier to incorporate. Return the rest of the soup to the pot to warm through. Serve the soup with a swirl of the reserved coconut milk and sprinkle with some cashews and sesame seeds. The soup will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.