I love this Kabocha & Fennel Soup! It is sweet, creamy a bit spicy and so satisfying. The preparation has several steps but it is not a difficult recipe.
Start with a good vegetable stock.
I always say this but the stock comprises half of the ingredients so it needs to be really good. I make homemade stock while I am preparing the other elements of the soup and the stock will be done ready to go when you need it.
The most difficult part of this recipe is peeling the squash because it is hard and round. I peeled it prior to roasting it but in the recipe, I have you keep the skin on and peel it after it cooks.
Options for finishing
I have photographed the soup with toasted pecans which are lovely, however, after eating the soup for a couple of days, I decided that it needed something saltier to balance out the flavors. I like the addition of thinly shaved Pecorino Romano, a hard, salty Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk. Then I like a small squirt of Shiracha which creates the perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy.
Make it vegan
Simply replace the butter with additional olive oil and leave out the cheese and this is a perfectly vegan soup.Print
Recipe adapted from “Sunday Suppers at Lucques” by Suzanne Goin.
- 1 medium kabocha squash, approximately 2 pounds
- 2 bulbs fennel
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1–1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup sherry, Madiera or dry white vermouth
- 8 cups easy vegetable stock or store bought stock
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans or
- 1/2 cup Pecorano Romano cheese, shaved thinly
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- Make easy vegetable stock.
- Cut squash in half, remove seeds and stings, then slice into 1-inch thick wedges. Cut fennel in half lengthwise then cut each half into 3-4 wedges. Toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Place on a sheet pan in a single layer then roast for 35 minutes until the vegetables start to caramelize around the edges. When done, cool slightly then cut skin off squash before proceeding.
- In a small pan, toast the fennel seeds for 3 minutes over low heat, then pound them with a mortar & pestle.
- Heat a large soup pan, add butter and when it is melted add onions, fennel, thyme, red pepper flakes, the bay leaf, a teaspoon of salt and a healthy dose of pepper. Sauté for 10-15 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the squash and fennel, stir all ingredients together then turn heat to high. Add Sherry and let it cook for 2 minutes then add stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Let the soup cool for a few minutes then strain. Place a large scoop of vegetables into a blender along with 1/2 cup of the liquid and blend on high for 45 seconds until very smooth. Place into a sauce pan then repeat 2-3 more times with remaining ingredients.
- Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
- Category: soup
- Method: oven, stovetop
- Cuisine: healthy
Keywords: kabocha, fennel, soup