Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Kabocha pottage

DSC_2420It’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!DSC_2216

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).
  1. Bake kabocha in foil lined cooking sheet at 400F. until soft but not collapsed.DSC_2408
  2. Cut in a half to take seeds out and peel the skin, (if not using). Set aside.DSC_2410DSC_2414
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until onion turns translucent.
  4. Pour chicken broth into a blender or food processor and add kabocha, onion and garlic. Blend until smooth.DSC_2415
  5. Return to saucepan and heat. Add cream, sake, salt and pepper. Add more chicken broth if you like a thinner pottage.DSC_2416
  6. Put a dollop of sour cream and top with chives when serving.DSC_2419

So much frost was on the trees that it looked like snow. DSC_2446

Bare branches were rimmed in ice too.DSC_2451DSC_2456

A group of us went to Nativity sets display. There were many kinds and it was really fun to look at. I was able to capture a few of them. I wish that the lighting was better and I had my tripod…DSC_2459


This was a beautiful set. Be careful with the baby Jesus!

DSC_2461DSC_2464Here is a Lego one too. My grandchildren would love it.DSC_2465

This one was my favorite, but, where is Joseph?DSC_2463


  1. You should open a restaurant!! I would be your best customer!!

  2. This looks so good. We've been making a lot of pumpkin puree recently.

  3. Leanne, Thank you very much. You are too kind.

    Damaris, How is Brazil treating you? I'm so curious how they celebrate Christmas. Thank you for your comment. Miss you all.

  4. Your pumpkin pottage looks and sounds amazing Akemi-san! I need to bookmark this and try. Wow you harvested your own pumpkin!!! I like the idea of roasting the whole pumpkin to make the soup. I haven't heard of the word pottage for a long time and it was very nostalgic. :-)

  5. Dear Nami chan, Thank you so much for your comment. Though I like this dish, I like kabocha tempura the best.

  6. Aunt Akemi--a few days ago I was staring at a mystery squash that had been given to me, trying to decide what to do with it. I was quite excited to pull up your blog and see a picture of the squash along with a recipe. So tonight I made it, and yum. Thank you! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

  7. Naketa, Thank you! I received your Christmas card yesterday. It was really sweet and well written. I hope great adventure wait for you two in Wyoming.