By Chef Eric Skokan, Farm Fork Food (Kyle Books, 2014)
I adore the Japanese varieties of Hokkaido squash, like Kabocha and Red Kuri. Deeper in color and flavor than their American cousin, Blue Hubbard, they excel in this soup. The aromatic duck leg confit adds decadence, while the pepitas add a playful crunch.
Pumpkin Soup with Duck Confit & Spiced Pepitas
1 pound Kabocha or Red Kuri squash, halved and deseeded
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 duck leg confit
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds or pepitas
Pinch of chili powder
Pinch of ground coriander
2 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
2. In a roasting pan, lightly coat the squash with oil and season with salt. Roast in the oven until the squash starts to color and is very tender, about 15 minutes. Let the squash cool, then peel.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, place the squash, onions and garlic and add enough water to cover. Boil until the water is reduced to three-quarters, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a blender while still hot and purée until very smooth. Season with salt.
4. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, warm the duck confit. Remove the leg from the pan, pull the meat from the bone and shred into small pieces. Place the shredded meat in a small bowl and season with salt, if needed.
5. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds with the chili powder and ground coriander until fragrant.
6. Divide the soup into four warmed soup bowls.
7. Top each with the shredded duck and spiced pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the soup with the pumpkin seed oil and serve immediately.