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The incredible no-peel squash


As you may have guessed from my excited talk of broth, I recently made a batch, serving half straightaway, and keeping the other half to replicate a hokkaido soup Joanna cooked for David and me a couple of weeks ago. She dictated the recipe to me as we queued at a vegetable stall, waiting to buy our bunches of radish, unfiltered apple juice, damsons and other goodies. I still had to phone her up at the last minute to check the details, and she, ever patient, confirmed that yes, you really don't need to peel the squash before using it.

Hokkaido squash soup

  • 1 liter / 1 quart broth (you can also use a bouillion cube or canned soup - vegetable or chicken would both work here)
  • 1 Hokkaido squash (approx. 1.5 kg / 3.3 lb), organic if possible
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin powder

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and fibres. Chop  into large (1.5 inch) chunks. (As mentioned above, peeling isn't necessary.)  In a large soup pot, bring the broth to a boil, then add the squash and cook uncovered over medium heat until very soft, 30-45 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add a pinch of nutmeg, a dash of chili and cumin powder and turmeric, and salt to taste. Serve garnished with tiny chunks of papaya or guava.


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