With the weather quickly turning into winter (at least here in the PNW), my kitchen has been in full production of everything comforting. Between large batches of soup to savory bread puddings, creamy galette's and quick ragu. We have quite a bit of snow outside, and have been enjoying our days building snow men, going for snowy adventures and sledding. Luckily this is something that we can do right outside our door, one of the advantages of living in the woods (not so lucky advantage, they don't plow our road so we become housebound for days). And then comes the moment when we all rush inside because we can no longer feel our fingers or toes, the consensus is always something warm, something filling, and something with lots of leftovers.
This soup is one of my all time favorites. I discovered it years ago and have adapted off of it from then. Switching from butternut squash to kabocha squash depending on what I can get my hands on. For a more filling meal, I will often times make a batch of rice and pour the bisque over top.
I love the addition of smoky habanero pumpkin seeds to the top. Adds a bit of heat and crunch. I'm all about the garnish these days.
Kabocha Squash Bisque with Habanero Pumpkin Seeds
Habanero Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup raw whole pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used this Smoked Habanero Barbeque Sauce)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter, salt and hot sauce. Spread the seeds in a single layer onto a baking sheet and roast for 40-50 minutes until crisp and golden. Every 15 minutes give the pan a good shake and stir. Remove from the oven, and place the seeds in a bowl to cool.
Kabocha Squash Bisque
1 pound kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cups stock (chicken or vegetarian)
1 cup potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper
Habanero Pumpkin Seeds
Using a large soup pot (I love using this), place it over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until soft.
Add the squash, stock, potatoes and paprika. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 35 minutes, until the squash and potatoes are soft.
Using a hand blender (or food processor or normal blender), blend until smooth. With the pureed soup back in the pan, stir in the cream. Taste, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Garnish with habanero pumpkin seeds! When my chives are in full production, I love adding fresh chives to this bisque.