The combination of flavors in this velvety smooth winter squash soup is amazing. You get a bit of sweetness from the roasted kabocha and fennel along with earthiness from the sage and just a touch of spiciness from the chili. Indulge in this soup on the coldest of cold days to keep yourself full and warm.
Velvety Roasted Kabocha and Fennel Soup [Vegan]
- 1 kabocha squash
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 5 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups of water
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Rinse any dirt off the kabocha then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds/pulp (you can reserve them and toast them later like you would pumpkin seeds). Cut each of the halves in half again so that you have 4 wedges.
- Remove the core from the fennel bulbs and discard it. Roughly chop the fennel bulbs into large pieces. Arrange the fennel, squash, and unpeeled garlic cloves on your lined baking sheet so that nothing is overlapping. Roast the squash, fennel, and garlic for approximately 45-60 minutes until the squash is soft and the fennel has caramelized on the edges. You may have to remove the fennel before the squash is done so that it does not burn.
- While the vegetables are roasting, drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a blender along with the water, sage, and thyme leaves. Run the blender on high until you have you have what resembles cashew milk. Add all but 1 cup of this mixture to a large pot, leaving the remaining 1 cup in the blender.
- When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool a bit. Add the fennel to the blender with the cashew milk mixture. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins, then add them to the blender. Lastly, separate the squash flesh from the skin and add it to the blender along with the juice of 1 lemon. Run the blender on high until you create a smooth and thick purée. Add this puree to the pot with the cashew milk mixture and whisk until combined. Set the pot over medium-low heat and add the chili powder and sea salt to taste. Warm the soup to your liking then serve topped with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and fennel fronds.