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Kabocha Squash and Chestnut Soup with Kale Sesame Crisps

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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 6

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1 lb chestnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 7 cups filtered water
  • 1 large sage sprig
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Kale Sesame Crisps

  • 1 small bunch lacinato kale
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Place the chestnuts flat side down on the cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut a little slit into the top of each one. Place the cut chestnuts into a medium sauce pan and cover them with filtered water. Bring them to a boil and then drain. Transfer drained chestnuts to a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until shells are coming away from the innards. Once cool enough to handle, peel chestnuts and set aside, discarding the shells.
  • Lower the oven heat to 400°F. Wipe out the sheet pan used for the chestnuts. Tear kale leaves into slightly larger than bite-size pieces. Drizzle them with the olive oil and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Toss and massage the leaves until they are thoroughly coated. Arrange them in a single layer and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Slide the tray into the oven and bake for about 7-8 minutes, or until the kale has crisped and curled up just a little bit. Remove the kale crisps from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until quite soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. To the pot, add the salt, squash, chestnuts, water, sage, and bay leaves. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Carefully purée the soup in batches in a blender, and then return the blended soup to the large pot. Add tamari, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring the blended soup back up to a boil. Serve hot with kale sesame leaves

Equipment

Recipe Notes

  • From Amy Chaplin's At Home In The Whole Food Kitchen
  • Amy's original recipe calls for sheets of nori seaweed brushed with a mirin + sesame oil mixture brushed on top for the "leaves." I only used kale because in the midst of throwing this together, I realized that I didn't have any nori! Anyway if you have nori, you can tear the sheets into pieces and brush them with a mix of the following: 2 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp mirin + 1 tsp sesame oil. Sprinkle the nori with sesame seeds and bake in a 300 F oven for 8 minutes, rotating the sheet pan halfway through.
Kabocha squash and chestnut soup is creamy, vegan, and wholesome. The recipe includes a crispy sesame-crusted kale chip garnish.