- 3 tablespoons avocado oil divided
- 2½ pound red or green kabocha divided
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons chili oil more or less depending on taste
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock plus more as needed
- 1 cup white rice
- Shichimi togarashi for serving
- Chili oil and sesame oil for serving
- Microgreens or sliced scallions optional, for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the kabocha:
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place the kabocha on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Do not turn the oven off.
Once the kabocha is cool enough to handle, cut the kabocha in half from the top stem to the bottom of the kabocha.
Scoop out the seeds and transfer to a sieve.
Peel one half of the kabocha and cut the flesh into bite sized-cubes. Set aside.
Leave the skin on the remaining half of the kabocha and cut it into 2'' cubes. Set aside.
Prepare the soup base:
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook for 7 minutes until it softens. Add the peeled kabocha cubes to the onion and cook for 3–5 minutes until it begins to turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter into the pot and add the chili oil and sesame oil. Pour in the water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes until completely soft. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Cook the squash seeds:
As the broth simmers, prepare the seeds. Rinse the warm seeds under water and remove the stringy bits of kabocha from them. Pat the seeds dry and arrange on the same baking sheet used for the kabocha. Add more oil, if needed.
Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes, flipping once midway through. Remove from the oven once the seeds are golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
Cook the rice:
Once the kabocha is very tender, mash it with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to blend until completely smooth. Add the rice and the skin-on kabocha and season with salt. Keep the heat on low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the kabocha cubes and rice are very tender. Add more water as necessary if the liquid evaporates too quickly. Stir the soup regularly to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Taste and season again to your preferences.
Ladle the rice soup into bowls and pile a few pieces of skin-on kabocha on top. Garnish with more chli and sesame oil, a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi, and a few microgreens. Sprinkle the crispy kabocha seeds on top. Enjoy!
Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Sodium: 60mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin C: 25mg