In my other home Sydney, when winter sets in, most cafes offer Pumpkin Soup on the menu. I already liked pumpkin as a vegetable, but learned how to truly like it as a soup.
We in the Philippines have kalabasa all year round and mostly cook it with our Pinakbet. So mga kababayan (my countrymen), here is another take on an old favorite the kalabasa. It is very healthy and to make the soup, you don’t have to peel off the skin; just wash it well.
Squash / Pumpkin Soup
Quick and easy, comforting creamy squash soup to warm you up on cold days. You can also use pumpkin, butternut squash, or kalbasa, whichever is in season.
- ½ kilo pumpkin/squash/kalabasa - rinse well; seed; you may peel off the skin or leave it as is. Slice into 1-inch cubes.
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons full cream milk powder
- 6 cups broth or hot water with 2 chicken bouillons or vegetable stock
- malunggay (Moringa) leaves, baby spinach leaves, or young chili (sili) leaves
- pork floss or fried bacon tidbits
In a medium sized sauce (good for 10 cups of water), set over medium-low heat, and pour in the oil and butter.
Then add the garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add in the pumpkin/squash/kalabasa and continue to saute for another 2 minutes.
Now sprinkle in the flour and mix well until the flour in well blended in.
Season with the cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and salt; mix well.
Slowly pour in the broth/hot water while mixing well to prevent sticking at the bottom.
Turn the fire to low and continue to simmer until the squash is very tender.
Now put in the powdered milk and stir.
Use either of the following to make a puree; a hand-held immersion blender or a free standing blender. Puree the mixture; don’t do it one lot if you are using a blender; it might spurt and burn you. Do at least two or three batches when pureeing. I prefer to use the hand-held immersion blender; for me it is a must in any kitchen.
If blended in a standing blender, return the mixture to the saucepan.
Place over low fire and continue to simmer.
Now taste the soup and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste.
Now it is ready to serve.
You may use the toppings I have suggested and you may also top, while still in the pot, sili leaves or malungay leaves or baby spinach leaves; simmer for 2 minutes then serve.