I love this soup in the fall as it matches the golden color of the changing Aspens. In this Kabocha Chicken Thai soup, the Kabocha squash is not pureed – and you keep on the skin, which softens nicely. Being ” Spice Mama, this soup also has an interesting assortment of spices that add to its character. I like to use fresh and whole spices and crush the whole ones, just before sauteing them, before adding any other ingredients to the pot. This technique brings out more nuanced flavors.
Please make sure to read the recipe before starting to ensure you have everything you need to produce a great outcome.
Time Estimate – this soup takes about a half hour to put together and simmers on the stove for about an hour before serving.
Prep Equipment (Nice to Have)
- Magic Bullet for crushing whole spices (option – you can use a mortar and pestal– but this is really handy to have in the kitchen)
- Zester (no real option for this) – this recipe really needs a tool like this)
Ingredients (makes about 8 servings)
- 1 pound of organic chicken thighs (purchase these a day head of time, salt, and let them rest in the refrigerator)
- 1 small organic kabocha squash
- 1 large organic onion
- 3 stalks organic celery
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 6 cups organic chicken bone broth (I make my own – click here for the recipe).
- 1 whole organic lime
- 2 tbs organic olive oil
- 1 16 oz can low fat organic coconut milk
- 1 TBS fresh grated organic tumeric root
- 1 TBS fresh grated organic ginger root
- 1 tsp whole organic allspice
- 1 tsp whole organic black peppercorns
- 1 tsp whole organic coriander seeds
- 5 whole organic cardamom seeds
- 1/4 tsp organic hot pepper flakes
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh organic cilantro (or cilantro microgreens)
A special note about organic ingredients – my first preference is to acquire most food locally where I know the farmer and their practices. When this is not possible, I opt for organic. The taste is far superior than non-organic and it’s a much safer. Not totally safe, but typically foods labeled organic have less residual pesticides than conventionally raised foods. It’s very much worth the price difference and is a “pay me now or pay me a lot more later” situation. Many long term and debilitating health conditions can be traced back to the pesticides used in conventional farming.
- A day before, salt the chicken thighs and let rest in the refrigerator. The cut into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces.
- Cut open the Kabocha squash and clean out the seeds, dice the squash into 1/2 – 1 inch sections. Keep the skin on – this helps the squash stay together in the soup and becomes soft enough to eat.
- Dice the onions and celery into 1/4 – 1/2 inch pieces.
- Peel and Fine chop the garlic cloves.
- Using the zester, grate the fresh tumeric and ginger root – enough to make a tablespoon each.
- Combine the Allspice, Peppercorns, Coriander, Cardamom Seeds, and Hot Pepper flakes – grind them together in the Magic Bullet.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot.
- Add in the crushed spices, and grated tumeric root and ginger root. Saute for several minutes.
- Add in the chicken and brown – should take five minutes (you do not need to cook it all the way through – you’re just aiming to crisp the outside and coat the chicken with the spice blend).
- Turn the heat to medium low.
- Add in the onions and celery – cook for five minutes until the onions are translucent – you are sweating not browning the onions.
- Add in the fine chopped garlic & cook for several more minutes stirring frequently so as to not brown the garlic.
- Add in the chopped Kabocha squash and stir to coat with all the other ingredients.
- Add in the chicken bone broth and bring to a simmer (just before a boil) and turn the stove down to low.
- Grate the lime with the zester and add the zest to the soup.
- Cook until the squash is soft and the chicken is cooked all the way through (about 20 – 30 minutes).
- Juice the lime and add it to the soup.
- Add in the coconut milk.
- Salt to taste 1/4 tsp at a time IF NEEDED (you want to salt AFTER you add the coconut milk as the fat in the coconut milk will coat your tongue making it harder to judge how salty the soup actually is). Plus the chicken was salted over night and may make the soup salty enough.
Serve in a bowl with a garnish of fresh cilantro (or not) and some folks like to add in a couple spoonfuls of white rice.