I love kabocha squash with its bright orange flesh, creamy smooth texture, and sweet caramel-y flavor. Topped with crispy sage leaves and salty frico (cheese crisps), the soup is a nice segue into Autumn. —HalfPint
kabocha squash, unpeeled and cubed, or peeled cubed butternut squash
chicken broth or water, divided
salt & pepper, to taste
whole sage leaves
neutral cooking oil
shredded or grated parmesan or asiago cheese
For the soup:
In soup pot, combine squash and 3 cups broth or water. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer soup for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender and almost falling apart. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup to your preference ( I prefer a fine puree). Add more liquid if you want a thinner soup. I usually use all 4 cups of broth/water since I prefer a thin soup. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
While the soup simmers:
In a small pot or pan, heat the oil over med heat and gently fry the sage leaves until crispy. Take pan off the heat. Remove the sage to a paper towel to drain. Reserve the sage oil for drizzling over the soup
For the frico:
Heat oven to 350F. Line a baking or cookie sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Mix cheese and pepper in a bowl. Using a tablespoon, spoon out little mounds of grated cheese mixture, spacing about 3 inches apart. Using the measuring spoon, level out the mound into flat circles, ~2.5-3" rounds. Bake for ~ 8-10 minutes or until melted and golden. Loosen the circles with a thin spatula or knife. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Can be made a day ahead.
To serve, ladle hot soup into warm bowls. Top with a drizzle of sage oil, some broken shards of frico, and scatter a few crispy sage leaves. Serve immediately.