- 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 yellow onion sliced thin
- 1 red pepper sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon of ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 2 acorn squashes, seeded, peeled, cut into 3/4 inch chunks
- 2 firm pears, peeled, seeded and cut into thin slices
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 4 stalks of kale, stems discarded roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
Preheat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Saute the onions and peppers for about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the salt, 5-spice, squash, and pears and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. Take a bite…it shouldn’t be crunchy. Puree and return soup to the pot. (The best way to do this is in batches. Puree half, pour it into a bowl, then do the other half. If you’re using a blender, be careful not to burn yourself since the tops have a habit of popping off. Trust me…squash soup explosions are painful and messy.) Add the kale and cook until it softens.
In a separate pan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they’re soft. Add the soy sauce and cook until absorbed. Top each bowl of soup with some shiitakes. Enjoy!
Variation: For a heartier soup, add one can of any type of bean. I’ve tried it with adzuki beans and they were delicious. White beans, red beans, mung beans would also be great. Add them in at the same time as the kale.
Toasted Squash (or Pumpkin) Seeds
- 1/2 cup seeds
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain seeds and place on a greased cookie sheet. Add additional seasoning, if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.