Sunday, December 6, 2009

Thai-Flavored Kabocha Bisque for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

This is one of those soup recipes that I had been thinking about creating and it had been living in my head for several weeks but other soups kept getting in the way and getting made first. Although I am late to appreciating winter squash, I am finding myself liking it more and more lately. Kabocha, especially when it is roasted, is one of my new favorites, I like its sweet flavor and creamy texture and thought it would be the perfect canvas for some of my favorite Thai flavors as a soup. Most of this Thai-Flavored Kabocha Bisque is made using local ingredients--the squash, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger and lime. It is simple to make and tastes delicious. I am calling it a "bisque"-- instead of a soup because of the rich creamy texture from the squash and the coconut milk, but it is dairy-free and using light coconut milk, instead of the half & half or heavy cream that is often found in a bisque makes it a healthier choice.

Thai-Flavored Kabocha Bisque
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 4 cups)

I medium kabocha squash
olive oil
1 (14 oz) can lite coconut milk
1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
3 stalks lemongrass (green tops cut off), peeled and bruised
4-5 kaffir lime leaves, edges torn
1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 or 2 small (3/4 to 1 inch) pieces galangal root, bruised
2 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1/2 Tbsp sambal oelek or other chili paste
salt and fresh pepper to taste
juice of 1 lime plus lime slices for garnish.

For squash, Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut kabocha in half, scoop out seeds and rub cut sides with olive oil. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast until tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool and scoop out flesh, discarding skin.

Place squash, coconut milk, stock, lemongrass, kaffir lime, ginger, galangal, fish sauce if using, soy sauce and sambal oelek in a pan and bring just to a soft boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes to blend flavors. (Note: make sure mixtures is just barely simmering--don't boil milk). Remove from heat, using a slotted spoon, remove lemongrass pieces, kaffir leaves and galangal. Puree until smooth with immersion blender or in small batches in blender or food processor. Add salt and black pepper to taste and squeeze in lime juice. Serve with extra lime slices or wedges. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Excellent! This is a really great soup with lots of layers of flavor--the sweetness from the squash and coconut milk, the tangy from the lime, the spice from the chili paste, a little salty and savory from the fish sauce and the soy. If you can't get the lemongrass or kaffir lime where you live, you could substitute lemon juice and zest and add extra lime juice. I used fish sauce and my homemade chicken stock so this isn't a vegetarian dish but it could easily be made one by omitting the fish sauce and switching to a vegetable stock. It is worth the time to roast the squash first because it adds flavor, (I roasted mine earlier in the week and stored it in the fridge until I made the soup). I served it as a starter with a second round of this Gingery-Hot Duck Salad or it would also be great with some summer rolls. I will make this one again.

So who is in the Souper Sunday kitchen this week?

Lauren from Healthy. Delicious. is here with a gorgeous bowl of Black Bean Soup. She says, "This bean soup is a great way to get back on track after the Thanksgiving weekend – it’s vegetarian (vegan if you skip the sour cream on top), full of wholesome vegetables and fiber, and extremely soul-satisfying. Adding your own toppings also makes the soup fun, and allows you to switch it up a little bit so that the leftovers don’t all taste exactly the same."

Here with a Beef Barley Porcini Soup is Kait from Pots and Plots who says, "Ordinarily I would use beef stock for this soup, but as I was out and I really hate cooking with just plain water (as it tends to result in flavorless, bland, boring soup), I opted to break out the reserved dried porcinis and steep those. There is very little I love more than the flavor of porcini mushrooms. The rest of this soup was an effort to use up assorted odds and ends in the vegetable drawer. It’s very healthful at 276 calories and 4.8 grams of fat per serving."

Foodycat has been trying to recreate a Garlic Soup she ate in Switzerland a few years ago and is getting pretty close. She says, "I used very finely sliced potatoes and the white part of leek, cooked briefly in butter and just enough vegetable stock to cover it until it was tender. When it was cool I pureed the vegetables with a couple of cloves of raw garlic. Then I put this thick puree back in the saucepan, thinned it with white wine and cream and gently reheated it and served it with some seared scallops on top." Although she is going to try again, this one looks delicious!

Debs from Deb Cooks made a lovely Carrot & Lentil Soup. She says, "I love soup. In fact, soup will be featuring a lot more, here on my blog. Barry doesn't like many vegetables and most often he is happy to have just mushrooms with his meal. But, he'll eat virtually any vegetable in soups. So hello winter, welcome a variety of soups. I came across this soup on whatsforlunchhoney blog It looked so pretty and with the addition of lentils, I just had to try it."

Here with one of my favorites, a classic Potato & Leek Soup is my friend Rebecca from Chow and Chatter. Rebecca says, "I made this soup the other day, its a classic soup in the UK and I added leftover turkey and ham from thanksgiving, it was delicious, healthy and quick to make. Leeks are wonderful and so under used." Yum!

Debby from A Feast for the Eyes was kind enough to try my Chunky Split Pea Soup with Ham and discovered a pretty major typo in the process! (The 3 quarts mixed chicken and ham stock somehow became 6 quarts on my post--OK that's embarrassing!) Debby says, "I give this recipe two enthusiastic thumbs up! Thanks, Deb, for the lovely recipe. I forgive you for the typo, because I've done that myself. In a way, you did a big favor for me. The stock that I scooped out became the most delicious lentil and sausage soup-- that I have, yet, to blog about!" So glad she figured it out and was able to recover and the typo is now fixed. Debby made a few excellent changes to the soup and has some great step-by-steps--so check it out on her post! Can't wait to see the other soup too!

Joanne from Eats Well with Others is here with a Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup, she likes for it's ease of preparation. Joanne says, "I got the recipe from a cookbook that I own called Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. The original recipe was a good base recipe, albeit somewhat bland, so I added in a ton of nutmeg and ginger. To spice things up. Feel free to change it as you wish. Add some apple. Or cheese. Or a cinnamon stick while cooking." Joanne has a sandwich to share to so check out her Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers below!

A Christmas Eve Soup from a email newsletter caught the eye of Libby at Cooking with Libby. She says, "For this soup, we had all the ingredients so I went to work on making it right away. This is a great way to use up all the left over ham from Thanksgiving and I also had some left over vegetables from Thanksgiving as well that needed to be used up soon. Needless to say, this is the perfect soup to make if you have any left overs just sitting in the fridge. My kids also loved this because of the cheese. What a great way to get them to eat their veggies..."

Deciding to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, even though it isn't an Italian tradition is the wonderful Graziana from Erbe in Cucina. Along with many the usual classic turkey day dishes, she says, "This is the easier recipe, the Smashed Potato Salad with Parsley." Made with red potatoes, parsley and chives and coarsely smashed together with a fork, this simple side dish salad is perfect any time of year.

Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies made a healthy and pretty Thai Hot & Sour Noodle Salad this week. Natashya says, "Here is a pretty easy-peasy recipe for a cold Thai noodle salad. It is open to creative variation and has the wonderful quality of being able to sit patiently and wait for you to create the rest of your dinner. The flavours are nicely balanced and intense, a great noodle salad."

The second submission this week from Joanne at Eats Well With Others are these hearty Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers made on homemade brioche burger buns. Joanne says, "I adapted this recipe for Thanksgiving burgers that I had seen on A Year In The Kitchen a LONG time ago. And while it doesn't really taste like Thanksgiving, it does taste delicious with the cranberry goat cheese. The only thing that would make it better would be if I added a layer of stuffing. And some gravy. But that might be vaguely excessive, don't you think?"

Wow--what a great selection of dishes this week! Thanks to everyone who participated. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich you would like to share, click on the logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a great week!


  1. oh wow great soup thanks so much for adding mine Deb, so I just put a link at the end of my post today?
    Love your blog Rebecca

  2. drooling...everything looks soooo delicious !

  3. Wowza! I'm loving your substitution of coconut milk, sounds like it shoulda been there in the first place! Delicious Souper Sunday :)

  4. Deb ~ Soups are definitely on my mind these cool days. Oh, how I love the combination of flavors in your Kabocha Bisque. Great review of this weeks soup recipe, thanks.

  5. What a great roundup today! I loved reading about your kabocha bisque. It looks great and sounds like the perfect starter for your duck salad. The garlic soup sounds like it would be delicious too - yum!!

  6. Your bisque looks fab, I love thai soups. Thanks for including me again this week.

  7. Delicious round-up! Sorry to take so long to visit. Internet froze me out again, sigh.
    I am loving your Thai flavours, congrats to leaning over towards winter squash... I will turn you into a beet lover in no time! Then turnips, parsnips.... ;-)

  8. So if someone put a gun to my head and said, Joanne you have to eat one soup every day for the rest of your life - I'm pretty sure this would be it. Great creation!

    ANd excellent round up as usual!

  9. Your soup looks wonderful AND I love Souper Sunday. Always love looking at all those beauriful soups. I'm usually soup queen this time of year, I don't know why I haven't made soup lately. It's 5 degrees this morning in Denver, that ought to get me in the mood!

  10. The kabocha bisque sounds incredible, such amazing flavors!

  11. I love Thai anything, and this take on a squash soup looks fantastic!

  12. What an outstanding roundup of recipes. I'm such a soupaholic, that I could make everyone one of these. Love Natasha's dish, too. That reminds me...I should post some salads, too.

  13. Ola,thats a heartily gorgeous thai soup!!
    what a lovely round up!!!!
    Am a first timer here & have just posted my entry which actually is cooked by me on 3rd dec!!!
    Now hope am ding things right!!!
    Here goes my info
    name-sugar plum
    blog url-
    link to post url-

    i think the last pic in the post would qualify ,am i right?
    so looking foward to join in as often as i can!!!

  14. Deb - I love all of the exotic flavors of this soup. I love kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass. Great to see you use galangal too.

  15. I don't think I've ever heard of or seen Kabocha. It sounds wonderful and I love the ingredients in your soup. If i ever come across this new-to-me squash, I'll have to try this recipe.


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