There is something about Fall that makes me want to see how many different ways I can cook squash. I am not sure if it is all the different colors and varieties of squash that are now in season or the fact that suddenly everything seems like it can be served up in a pumpkin bowl. This recipe for Vegan Coconut Kabocha Squash Soup with a fresh corn, lime and pepper salsa is my spin on another fall soup idea I received at this weekend’s market.
When I picked up another Kabocha Squash at the Farmer’s Market this weekend and I had a fun conversation with the Farmer about all the ways you can cook Kabocha Squash. I know that I love it roasted, but, the only squash soup I’ve ever made is this Butternut Squash Soup that I make every year.
One idea that totally stuck with me from all the ideas we discussed was the idea of using coconut milk for the half and half to add a layer of creaminess and the idea of drizzling a spicy jalapeno oil on the soup. (I totally bought a bottle of Fresh Jalapeno Olive Oil, but, completely forgot to use it.)
I know that I need texture in my soups to make them feel satisfying so I decided to use up the rest of the corn we had picked up for the season to whip up a quick, fresh corn and red pepper salsa to brighten up the soup. This Vegan Coconut Kabocha Squash soup is creamy, decadent, satisfying and delicious, yet healthy, fresh and light at the same time.
For those who are not fans of coconut, feel free to sub your broth of choice for the coconut and water in this recipe. Enjoy!
COCONUT KABOCHA SQUASH SOUP WITH CORN SALSA (print it!)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (you can use a similar squash)
- 12 oz unsweetened lite coconut milk (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 4 cups water
- 2 corn ears, kernels cut off for the salsa, optional
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or hot sauce, for a spicy kick
- 2 cups corn kernels cut off the cobs above
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp cilantro
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a large 5 quart soup pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cilantro, stir and cook for 3 additional minutes. Add the squash and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in the coconut milk, water, corn cobs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until squash has softened. Remove the corn cobs and blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.
3. Prepare the corn salsa while the soup cooks, by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and tossing until combined.
4. Spoon soup into bowls and top with 1/4 cup of the fresh corn and pepper salsa.
Makes 6 servings, 1 1/4 cups each, 4 points+ per serving, Simply Filling + 1 WPA for the coconut milk.
Nutritional information per serving calculated at caloriecount.com
STEP – BY – STEP
This recipe comes together in about 30 minutes…in fact, you will probably spend more time trying to peel the Kabocha squash
Heat a large soup pan over medium heat, then, add onion cooking until softened. Add in cilantro and garlic and continue cooking an additional 3 minutes.
I realize you can eat the skin of Kabocha, but, I really thought not peeling it might make the soup color look even funkier than two pea split pea soup.
Add in the kabocha squash and continue cooking for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. You really just want to get the cooking process started.
Season with the sea salt and cayenne for some salty spice.
Instead of broth, I used Light Coconut Milk and I even got al Iron Chef like by adding the cobs to the broth for “flavor”. I probably should watch the Food Network a little bit less than I do
15 minutes later everything was cooked and went from looking like this….
To turning this fun green that will totally confuse people into thinking it’s split pea lol.
While the soup cooked, I prepped a quick fresh corn and red pepper salsa with the last of the season’s fresh corn on the cobb.
Scoop, top and serve! The coconut and squash make this soup rich, thick and creamy, while the lime corn salsa brightens the flavor and adds a nice, sweet, crunch to every bite.
The flavors definitely remind me of the Thai Coconut Lime Lettuce Wraps that I made up this summer….only this time, the flavors are in a fall soup.
Have you ever cooked with coconut milk? If so, what did you make? If not, what is one dish you want to make?
I have on occasion subbed coconut milk for the broth in recipes or used it in ice cream or smoothies. As far as my “exotic” coconut cooking, I’ve used coconut milk in this Vegan Pad Thai Food and this Vegan Channa Masala, but, I definitely want to branch out into more coconut-i-ness.