Jan 6

Creamy Kabocha Sweet Potato Pomegranate Soup

in Fruits & Vegetables, Japanese, Main Course, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Side Dish, Soup & Stew

Kabocha Sweet Potato Pomegranate Soup

Creamy kabocha sweet potato pomegranate soup.  Does it sound good?  I hope so, because it is.  I have been trying to write about this soup for a good week now.  Yesterday I struggled through putting together the post, and then went to add pictures and got an error screen.  When I tried to refresh and then return to my previous page, the only evidence of my work was the title of my post.  I tried everything I could think of to find the post, because I had been saving it periodically as I was writing, but it was just gone.  I took it as a sign and turned off my computer.  So here I am again, feeling a sense of deja vue as I try and find something to say.  I realized this morning that the source of my writer’s block is life in general.  I am tired, and getting the cogs in my brain to move is like convincing Squirrel that ice cream isn’t a breakfast food—impossible.

Prepping kabocha for the soup

Tuesday we made the long drive from Salt Lake City back home to Southern California.  The time spent with my in-laws for Christmas and New Years was wonderful, but didn’t go quite as planned.  When we arrived, my adorable little 8-month old nephew had a bad cold, and things seemed to go downhill from there.  Family members were dropping like flies.  I finally took Bug to urgent care at one point because her cough sounded so terrible.  Life has just been tough for cute little Bug, because after being poked, prodded, swabbed, and x-rayed, she came away with a diagnosis of strep throat and pneumonia.  A couple of days later, several other members of the family, including me, were back with diagnoses of strep throat and ear infections.  So our vacation was filled with even more family time as all of us laid around the house being miserable together.

Cooking the kabocha and sweet potato

So instead of telling you some interesting story about how this soup ended up on my POM Dinner Party menu, or about how kabocha is one of my all-time favorite foods, I’m going to get straight to the point before my brain freezes up on me again.  Creamy Kabocha Sweet Potato Pomegranate Soup.  If your family has been hit by the illness train like mine, then this soup is a great meal addition.  Not only is it easy to make, but it’s delicious and good for you.  It’s hearty and filled with good things like vitamins and antioxidants.  A drizzle of pomegranate molasses takes an awesome everyday soup to new heights by added a tangy rich brightness.  Some of the molasses will slowly sink to the bottom of the bowl, making the last bite of soup a wonderful treat.  My last wise thought for the day? Just make it.

Kabocha Sweet Potato Pomegranate Soup 2

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Kabocha Sweet Potato Pomegranate Soup

Adapated from Elizabeth Andoh’s “Ohisama No Wan” Recipe (p.80), An American Taste of Japan

Makes 4 servings

1/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/3 kabocha squash, peeled and seeded
1 sweet potato, peeled
Pomegranate molasses and fresh pomegranate arils, to garnish (optional)

1.In a large saucepan, saute the shallots in the butter over low heat until wilted (about 4 minutes).  Sprinkle the flour over them and cook them for about 2 minutes, while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Season the shallots with the salt and pepper and add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and whisk until smooth.  Continue to cook while stirring with the whisk, until the  mixture thickens considerably.  Whisk in 1 1/2 cups more chicken stock and the freshly grated ginger.  Let the soup simmer while preparing the vegetable mash. The soup should simmer for at least 10 minutes and up to 15.

2. Prepare the vegetable mash: Cut the squash and sweet potato into 1- to 2-inch cubes.  In a medium saucepan, bring several cups of salted water to a boil and cook the squash and sweet potato in it for 5 to 6 minutes or until just tender.  Drain the vegetables, then add the cup of remaining chicken stock.  With a potato masher, mash the vegetables into a rough puree.

3. Add this puree to the simmering soup and stir well to combine.  Heat the soup through over medium heat.   Serve the soup hot with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and a sprinkling of fresh pomegranate arils on top (optional).

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria January 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I wish I could magically make this appear on my dinner table right now. Love it!


Dole Nutrition Institute January 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Wow this looks absolutely incredible. We are big fans of different takes on vegetable soups. Great post Rachael! Wish I could have bowl right now.


Paula - bell'alimento January 6, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I’m going to just make it ; )


The Duo Dishes January 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Interesting pairing. Wouldn’t think to add pom to sweet taters, but it’s a nice tangy bite matched with sweetness.


Barbara | VinoLuciStyle January 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I have butternut squash…thinking that would work too?

So hoping that Bug is over the bug; that Squirrel avoids the bug but not Bug and that their Fuji Mama is back in good working order soon too!


sally January 6, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I love kabocha squash, but find them so difficult to cut and peel. Do you have any tips?


Carrie January 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

@sally, Sally, I’d love to hear any tips, too. Since becoming addicted to this squash, I’ve sustained many peeling injuries…but SO worth it, lol!


Sukaina January 6, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Anything with pomegranate and I’m there!!


Fuji Nana January 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Gorgeous photos. Love the presentation!


Cathy/ShowFoodChef January 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

I think that would make a good motto for the whole year: Just Make It! Sending you and the whole lot a bunch of hugs and healing wishes. We’re battling the “pass the cold around” game here now, and this soup looks like a big bowl of comfort :D


Heather (Heather's Dish) January 7, 2011 at 7:15 am

AH! i love kabocha…but i never thought to add pomegranate to it! this is an amazing dish…perfectly winter-y but so bright and beautiful :)


Lauren B. January 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

It’s freezing here, so I’ve turned into a soup freak! I’ll have to try this one out! Beautiful photos, too! :)


Lejarie January 7, 2011 at 10:03 am

Wow…what a coincidence….I just bought some Japanese pumpkin and sweet potatoes at the little Korean market near my house yesterday. So I can make this…not didn’t get the pomegranate!


Liz the Chef January 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I would never have thought to put these flavors together in this way – so creative! Feel better soon, after a rough start to the New Year…


Melanie Flinn January 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Yes, very creative! Beautiful pictures too. Just found your blog via food blog!s :)


Jersey Girl Cooks January 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm

The soup looks almost too pretty to eat…heehee. Beautiful colors and I have a weakness for pomegranates!


DIane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} January 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

looks delicious, I LOVE soup and this combo sounds great to me, wonderful photos!


Bren January 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

we use that squash a lot. and can you believe for the 1st time I’ve found arils! Just today at Costco.. Not POMWonderful one’s but they had them! Great looking soup!


blackbookkitchendiaries January 11, 2011 at 10:44 am

this looks so good. i love how pretty the color are on this dish:) nicely done. thank you for sharing this.


Chris Jones December 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

I made this tonight, but I can never find Kabocha squash in Billings, so I substituted a Hubbard I grew in my garden this past summer. It was soooooo good!


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