Pumpkin/Kabocha Soup

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/nobu-weekend-dinner-at-home/

So I got another soup request (30 Nov) tonight for pumpkin soup to go with dinner tonight. Since I hadn’t done it before, I decided to pull out some reference material on how I might go about it.  Hiroko Shimbo’s “The Japanese Kitchen” had a reference for it as “Bright Orange Kabocha Miso Soup” (p. 229) where the key ingredients were an 11 oz puree of kabocha, a 4″ square piece of konbu soaked in 3 cups of water for an hour, 2-3 tablespoons of saikyo miso and 1/2 cup of soy milk.  Pumpkin is sometimes a very sweet item as is the saikyo miso; and I had in mind a more savory soup for the meal.

The konbu soaked in 3 cups of water sounded not unlike Chef Morimoto’s way of starting dashi at his restaurant (see Morimoto: The New Art Of Japanese Cooking).  So I thought, “why not just replace the konbu broth with actual dashi and then just simply season it with soy/sake?”

11 oz puree’d kabocha/pumpkin
3 1/2 cups dashi     (28 oz)
1/4 cup sake        ( 2 oz)
1/8 cup usukuchi soy    ( 1 oz)

which would make for a total of 42 oz of soup.

I mixed the dashi, sake, soy sauce and brought the mix to a boil.   Once that was done, I added 2 cups (16 oz) of pumpkin puree.   It wasn’t quite what I expected – it was a soup, more in the Japanese sense – broth-like.

Pumpkin soup, ready for serving....

I think If I had to do this again, I’d reduce the dashi/sake/soy so that it would total 15 1/2 oz so that the broth/puree ratio would be 1:1 – making it a thick soup – closer to a vegetable puree soup a la Chef Thomas Keller.

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