I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an American, or just underexposed to culinary words, but potage was a new word for me. In case it is for you too, it’s a soup where you boil everything until it’s soft. In other words, a very very easy soup.
I was a little bit on the fence about posting this recipe here because I’ve been trying to focus on Asian dishes. However, even though this is a Western dish, I feel like it is the sort of thing that would be popular in Japan. To reassure myself, I did a quick Cookpad search and it turned up over 5,000 potage recipes written in Japanese. So there!
The original recipe that inspired this one comes from an online Asian store demonstrating how to use kabocha. Inside of Japan they translate it as “pumpkin,” in the West I’ve always seen it referred to as “kabocha squash.” In Germany, Hokkaido squash is the most common squash, and luckily quite similar to kabocha. So that is what I used here. I found it funny that the most common squash in Germany also has a Japanese name! I’m not an expert, but I think the main difference is that the Hokkaido is a little softer and has a thinner skin. I think sugar pumpkin would also probably work well if you can’t find kabocha or Hokkaido.
Hokkaido Pumpkin Potage
Serves 2, Time: approximately 30 minutes
1 tablespoon butter or bacon grease
1/2 kabocha or Hokkaido squash (sugar pumpkin is also probably fine, but I’ve never tried it)
2 carrots (or 1 really big fat one)
1 russet potato (about the size of a small lady’s palm, not a huge man one 🙂 )
1/2 large white onion, minced
500 ml chicken broth
100 ml cream
First: Clean out the seeds and the squishy part from the squash. Peel and cut the squash into large chunks. Around 1 inch by 1 inch is good, but the exact size isn’t that important. You just want it to cook quickly when it’s simmered. Mince onion. Cut carrot into small bite sized pieces (mine were about 1/4 inch thick, left in a round carrot shape). Peel and cut potato into quarters. Aside from the onion, the size you cut things really doesn’t matter that much.
Second: Sauté onions in butter until translucent. They should be soft, but not brown.
Third: Add the other vegetables and chicken broth. Bring everything to a boil, then turn the heat down. Put the lid on and simmer until everything is soft. Mash or puree the soup. If you like a thicker consistency, put the soup back on the hot stove and allow the soup to simmer until it reaches your desired consistency. When you are happy with the consistency, continue to the next step.
Fourth: Stir in cream and season to taste with remaining ingredients.
Done! My preferred accompanying menu: brussels sprouts cooked with bacon (and garlic), bread, and butter.
Link to the original recipe this was adapted from at Japancentre.com.