It’s been very cold lately, not Minnesota or Wisconsin cold ( I know this because I have been there in the dead of Winter) but pretty cold to me nonetheless. I harvested the last of our kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) two weeks ago. I pre-maturely picked the first kabocha and my husband gave me the evil eye but this time I waited until it was almost in a naturally frozen state. It was heavy and cold, I felt like I was carrying a block of ice. Open the door quick! My hands are freezing!
According to the Oxford American Dictionary, the word pottage is an old one that means soup or stew. That is way too simplified in my opinion and many Japanese can differentiate between those three seasoned, cooked liquid foods. I like the word ‘pottage’ because of the French flare sound to it. Merveilleux! A la pottage de kabocha… like that? No?. Anyway, a night like this needs some warmth to your body and soul.
Kabocha has a really tough skin so I like to bake it first in oven (400F for about 25 minutes or more) or if you have a big enough one to hold the whole kabocha in your rice cooker, just put it inside then push the button. If you use the skin in your pottage then the color comes out green. St. Patrick's Day would be a great time to make this dish but it is probably not available in market then - well, thank you for the useless information. You could also substitute with regular pumpkin. In that case, you may call it pumpkin soup with an American accent.
Ingredients Serves 8 or more
- 1 Kabocha- I didn’t weigh it but it was big!
- 1 onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
- Oil or butter 1 Tablespoon
- Chicken broth about 3 cups
- Heavy cream about 1 cup
- Salt about 1/2 teaspoon or more to taste.
- Pepper-I prefer white pepper for this-about 1/2 teaspoon.
- Sake-Japanese wine (optional) about 1/4 cup
- Sour cream (optional)
- Chive (optional)-Fresh chive if you have it (I didn’t).
- Bake kabocha in foil lined cooking sheet at 400F. until soft but not collapsed.
- Cut in a half to take seeds out and peel the skin, (if not using). Set aside.
- Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until onion turns translucent.
- Pour chicken broth into a blender or food processor and add kabocha, onion and garlic. Blend until smooth.
- Return to saucepan and heat. Add cream, sake, salt and pepper. Add more chicken broth if you like a thinner pottage.
- Put a dollop of sour cream and top with chives when serving.
This was a beautiful set. Be careful with the baby Jesus!