It is that time of the year. A lot of new cookbooks are coming out, and I have a very long wish list. I would like to purchase them all, but I have no space left in my bookshelf. And I have a tall and wide bookshelf. Though I know, I will give in. Even if that means storing them on my bedside table or under my desk, I will splurge on a couple of them. Similar to most foodies, I get so much inspiration from other cooks.
Nowadays, with constantly changing trends in the food industry, I think cookbooks written by professionals or even home cooks are such a great source of information. You can easily pick up a copy of a cookbook and start cooking something that you have never cooked before. If you are thinking to buy them electronically, I have to sat that when it comes to cookbooks, I prefer hard copies. I like to take notes, spill stuff over it, and touch it whenever I want. For me, cooking with the book feels more satisfying.
Today’s recipe comes from Samantha Seneviratne’s Gluten-Free for Good cookbook. I will get into the details of this gem shortly, but before that let’s talk about this soup first.
As this is my first time cooking with kabocha squash, I found it is not much different in taste, it is sweeter than pumpkin. Or I should say, it is somewhere between sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Since it is sweeter, when roasted, its skin caramelizes. With the addition of salty miso paste and tangy rice vinegar added at the end, you will be surprised at the pleasant combination of sweet-salty-sour flavors. In my opinion, this is the kind of soup you expect at a nice restaurant. Funny thing, it is ridiculously easy to make.
About the Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Sesame Seeds recipe:
This soup reminds me of my Dominican-Style Pumpkin Ginger Soup that I learned during our Dominica trip a couple of years ago. Similar to that recipe, this one has a generous amount of freshly grated ginger. Even though the flavor profiles are similar, this kabocha squash is more complex.
As I mentioned earlier, the addition of miso paste and rice vinegar takes it to whole other level. If you have never used miso paste, this is a great recipe to start. Miso paste, also known as fermented soybean paste, is naturally salty, so you don’t have to add too much salt. There are many varieties of miso paste sold in American supermarkets, but I usually go for the most basic white miso paste made from soybeans, which is naturally gluten-free. Here, I want to mention that miso paste can also come from barley, wheat, buckwheat, rice, millet, or rye. When purchasing one, I recommend reading the label closely. If you are following a gluten-free diet, look for miso paste made with millet, buckwheat, rice, or soybeans.
Regarding toppings, I choose microgreens and roasted sesame seeds. The original recipe suggested to garnish it with gomasio, also known as sesame salt, and green parts of the scallions. If you choose to follow the original recipe, you can make gomasio by grinding kosher salt and sesame seeds in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle. Samantha’s original recipe for gomasio uses four tablespoons of sesame seeds and ½ teaspoon Kosher salt. Feel free to use it for garnish on this soup and save the extra for use on salads, roasted vegetables, and even popcorn.
The recipe below easily serves six people. If you are a small family like us, feel free to freeze the leftovers after it is cool enough to handle. Place the soup in an airtight container and cover it with a lid before freezing.
About the book:
As I mentioned a couple of times in this blog, my husband and I are not gluten sensitive. However, as a food blogger, I know that some of you are. Therefore, I do my best to include a variety of recipes that will serve different dietary needs. I was given a copy of this “Gluten-Free For Good” cookbook to write a review for a program called Blogging for Books.
The book starts with a detailed list of items for a gluten-free pantry ranging from alternative flours to starches to basics like vegetable and chicken stock, homemade labneh, lemony mayonnaise, etc. The author, Samantha Seneviratne, who is the blogger behind LoveCommaCake, explains everything in detail. After the basics of gluten-free pantry items, come some incredible recipes for breakfast and brunch dishes, soups, sides, salad, hearty mains, snacks, and desserts. The book offers a variety of recipes that will keep you busy for a long time.
While some recipes I would consider “seasonal”, most of the dishes are made with ingredients that are available year round in most American supermarkets. However, there is one ingredient that I have never heard before called Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Samantha uses it often in her dessert and snack recipes. In one of her recipes she says, “I love Lyle’s Golden Syrup, the thick, richly flavored syrup made from sugar cane. Nowadays, the British staple is easy to find in a well-stocked supermarket. While honey can usually be substituted for Lyle’s, I don’t suggest for this recipe as the flavor is too strong.” As she mentioned, Lyle’s Golden Syrup was available at our local Whole Foods. I haven’t purchased it yet, but in the future I might do so to make her toasty coconut almond candy recipe. Those candies look so damn good.
Overall, I think Samantha Seneviratne’s “Gluten-free for Good” is a great addition to your library for those of you who are following or serving for a gluten-free diet. I have already dog-eared many recipes from the book and intend to share my favorites, here on my blog, in the near future. However, if you want to purchase your copy and start cooking right away, you can find the book wherever books are sold.
Other Gluten-Free Recipes You Might Like
- Roasted Acorn Squash Salad with Spicy Pepitas and Cranberries GF + Vegetarian
- Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta GF + Vegetarian
- Slow Baked Salmon with Butter Beans GF
- Forbidden Rice Morning Cereal Bowl with Berries GF + Vegan
- Ricotta and Almond Polenta Cake GF
- Need more inspiration? Check out all our Gluten-Free Recipes
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Sesame Seeds
- 1 medium 3 pounds kabocha squash, halved and seeded
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 5 scallions both green and white parts
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
- ¼ cup gluten-free white miso paste *
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- Sea Salt
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- ¼ cup microgreens optional
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the squash into smaller pieces and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly sprinkle the squash with ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Set them cut side down. Roast for 30 minutes (or until it is soft and tender when pierced with a knife), rotating the baking sheet half way through the process for even roasting. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl. You should have 3 to 3 ½ cups of squash. Using the back of a fork lightly break them. No need to puree. It is okay if they are in chunks.
- Meanwhile, heat the rest of olive oil in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Add in the scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the squash, vegetable broth, and water. Cover the pot, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- Place the miso paste into a bowl. Ladle 1 cup of the soup liquid into the bowl. Whisk until combined and smooth. Pour the mixture into the soup.
- Using a hand blender, puree the soup until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more if necessary. Alternatively, you can puree the soup in a blender in batches.
- When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If preferred, garnish with microgreens.
* Read the blog post for other ideas for garnishes.