Kabocha Squash Chowder with Lobster Mushrooms

This is a warm and hearty soup recipe that will make your house smell like autumn. It’s so easy to make, too! This soup has such an amazing depth of flavor with the addition of lobster mushrooms, kabocha squash, apple cider vinegar, and more. Give this recipe a try for yourself and see how it leaves you feeling satisfied.

Ingredients:

– Kabocha squash (one large) – Lobster mushrooms (about one pound) – Yellow onion (small), diced finely in food processor or by hand if you have arthritis like I do 🙂 – Garlic cloves (two small ones) – Apple cider vinegar (half cup) – Olive oil/vegetable broth mixture of your choice – can use either half cup olive oil OR two cups vegetable broth + one tablespoon olive oil per every single kabocha squash that you’re cooking – Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

– Peel kabocha squash, cut into large cubes with divots for easier slicing. Place in a pot of water (enough to cover the pieces) and boil/simmer until fork tender. This should take about 20 minutes on high heat or 40-50 minutes on low heat. Use stovetop rather than microwave if you can because microwaving will cause more moisture loss from the veggies which means that they’ll need to cook longer before being fork tender. Once your Kabocha is done, remove it from its hot water bath and set aside until cool enough to handle safely without burning yourself

-While waiting for Kabocha squash to cool, chop lobster mushrooms into small pieces, then sautee for about five minutes in butter or another cooking fat.

-Chop onion and celery into medium sized half moon shapes (about the size of your thumbnail). Add to pan with chopped lobster mushrooms, stirring occasionally as they cook for a few more minutes

-Add squash back to pot after it’s cooled down enough that you can handle without burning yourself. Once inside, add chicken broth/stock and water until liquid reaches level just above kabocha squash. Bring mixture up to high heat again

-Once boiling, reduce heat so that mixture will simmer for at least 20 minutes. Stir frequently during this time period because if left untouched on low heat you’ll risk burning the bottom.

-After 20 minutes, puree mixture in batches with an immersion blender or working it through a food mill and then return to pan. Add cream (or milk/half & half)

-Once all has been added back into pot, bring up to high heat again until mixture reaches boiling point once more and reduce heat so that it will simmer for another ten minutes before serving.

How to make the most of this recipe?

The following are some ways to customize this recipe based on what you have available:

*Substitute the lobster mushrooms with oyster or portobello mushrooms.

*Add more kabocha squash, using a total of three cups. This will increase the thickness of your chowder and make it even richer in flavor!

*Make the soup spicier by adding a few dashes of sriracha.

*Add some chopped parsley or tarragon for an extra burst of fresh flavor.

What to serve with this dish?

-Baguette for dipping in the chowder

-Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Lemon if you want a side dish

-Cheese Plate to go alongside this rich soup. Try pairing blue cheese, goat cheese, or gouda with cranberries.

-Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust for dessert.

Why Lobster Mushrooms are delicious?

Lobster mushrooms are delicious because they have a deep umami flavor that goes well with other savory ingredients, like the kabocha squash in this soup. The lobster mushroom is not as meaty or chewy as beefsteak varieties of Japanese-style shiitake mushrooms and does not have an overpowering flavor when used raw.

The best way to cook them is sautéed over high heat for just a minute so it retains some juices on its surface – be careful not to overcook it! This can also be done at low temperature if you want more control over caramelization (which will color the dish). It’s important to use one pan only because anything cooked in contact with metal has higher levels of sodium.

When mushrooms are sautéed, they can be left to cool and then mixed with pesto for a quick pasta dinner or tossed into a salad. The shiitakes have more intense flavors so they work well in soups such as miso soup when the other ingredients are subtle. I like them best in phở where their umami flavor offsets beefy notes from star anise and cinnamon bark – it’s really delicious!