It’s still feeling a lot like summer here in NY, but the date on the calendar has me longing for cozy sweaters and nights curled up on the couch with a warm bowl of soup. So, when our latest farm share delivery came with two beautiful black futsu squash on Tuesday, I couldn’t resist the urge any longer. I had to make soup … 80 degrees and all.
If you live in the Northeast and you’ve never had black futsu squash, I really suggest you try it. They are similar in texture to a butternut, though slightly softer and less dense, and have a sweet, deeply nutty flavor. They are delicious simply roasted with coconut oil and salt and eaten skin and all (as our farm share recommended), but their texture also makes for a beautifully smooth, velvety (and flavorful) soup.
This recipe is simple and wholesome — the squash comprises the bulk of it, with a little onion, garlic, coconut milk, and turmeric, which adds a bright flavor and color and only enhances the soup’s healing qualities. Kale leaves, fried in coconut oil, add a crisp topping but can absolutely be omitted for a quick weeknight meal. And, in an effort to leave nothing to waste, I’ve roasted the seeds from the squash and used them as garnish (though they are just as good by the handful for a mid-afternoon snack too).
Here’s to a happy fall (whenever she decides to make her appearance). Enjoy, friends.
black futsu squash + turmeric soup
When roasted, black futsu squash have a deliciously sweet, nutty flavor and creamy texture that lends itself beautifully to soup. I really recommend trying to find some if you can, but if you can’t, you can substitute another squash variety similar in texture (like butternut).
4 pounds (about 2) black futsu squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (reserve seeds)
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1½ cups whole coconut milk, plus more for garnish
kale chips, for garnish (recipe below)
sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut each half of squash into approximate 1-inch wedges and arrange in one layer on 2 (or 1 large) baking sheets. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil over top and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage the oil into the squash until every wedge is completely coated. Roast in the oven until very soft when pierced with a fork, about 30 – 35 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Rinse the reserved squash seeds in cool water and blot dry with a paper towel. Spread in an even layer on a small baking sheet and roast in the oven until lightly golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat, add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent and very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, and coriander and cook for 3 – 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Using a spoon or your hands, scoop the cooled squash flesh from the skin and add to the pot. Discard the skin. Add the coconut milk and 1½ cups of water and stir to combine. Return the pot to high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes to reheat and meld the flavors.
Working in batches, blend the soup in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Once smooth, return the soup to the pot. At this point, you can adjust the thickness of your soup with water to your liking — I found that mine needed an additional 1 cup of water (but I also don’t like overly thick soup). Reheat the soup if needed and adjust the salt as necessary.
Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Drizzle coconut milk over top and top with the kale chips. Sprinkle with the roasted squash seeds and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
for the kale chips:
kale leaves, torn into pieces
In a small sauté pan over medium heat, melt enough coconut oil to coat the bottom with about ¼ – ½ inch of oil. Check the temperature by dropping a piece of a leaf into the oil — if it pops and sizzles, it’s ready. Working in small batches, add a few pieces of leaves and STAND BACK (the oil will spit and splatter when you add the leaves). Once the sizzling dies down (about 2 – 3 minutes) and the leaves look almost translucent, remove them and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with flaky salt while warm. Repeat with the remaining leaves, adjusting the heat as necessary (if the leaves start to brown, your oil is too hot. If it takes too long for them to stop sizzling, it’s too cool). Set the chips aside to cool while you make the soup.