My parents grow Uchiki Kuri in the garden, which is a small Japanese Squash with a creamy yellow flesh that’s quite nutty and sweet. I’ve used this Squash as I would a Pumpkin because unlike some of the other varieties of Squash this is almost the same as a Pumpkin in taste and colour… it’s just a bit smaller, and in my opinion, tastier.
Just to clarify, both Squash and Pumpkin belong to the same family (the cucurbitaceae). A pumpkin is simply another type of Squash. This all used to confuse me a lot when looking at recipes and not knowing whether I was using the right words etc but there you go, not too difficult at all.
This soup is really easy and simple, and I have added it to different dishes to add that lovely Pumpkin flavour. In this recipe I have added some dried chilli flakes, as I just love a spicy soup, but this can easily be omitted. Obviously, if you don’t have Uchiki Kuri you can simply use a regular Pumpkin, it goes through the same process and there doesn’t need to be any changes made…possibly just seasoning.
1 medium Uchiki Kuri (or normal pumpkin)
60ml Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 Onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
570ml good Vegetable Stock
Approx 5 Sage Leaves
1 tbsp Chilli Flakes (use less or more depending on your spice level)
Begin by preheating your oven to 180˚C/Gas mark 4. Cut the Uchiki Kuri (or Pumpkin) into even segments, scrape out the seeds, and place the segments onto a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and some dried herbs if you like. (I left the herbs out)
Cook for around 45 minutes, or until the Squash is tender and soft. While the squash is roasting, start frying the chopped onion and garlic with the butter until softened.
When the squash is cooked, scrape the flesh away from the skin and add it to the onion mix. Fry these together for about 2 mins and then add the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer uncovered for five minutes.
Finally, add the chopped sage, chilli, salt and pepper, and then purée the mixture using any kind of blender you might have.
To serve, adjust the seasoning and add any textured seed you might like on top (i added sunflower seeds)
Enoy hot, with some crusty bread.
creamy yellow flesh is nutty and sweet.