1.2kg (2.8 lb) butternut pumpkin/squash
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 head of garlic, sliced in half across the cloves
1 red onion, cut into wedges
3 cups chicken stock (you can also substitute vegetable stock)
2 tbsp shiro miso*
4 tsp coconut cream, to serve (optional)
black sesame seeds, to serve
sichimi togarashi*, to serve
Miso grilled cheese toast:
3 tbsp softened butter
1 tbsp shiro miso*
4 slices bread
½ cup grated cheese
Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F.
Slice the pumpkins in half and de-seed. Place them on a large roasting tray. Nestle the garlic and red onion around the pumpkin. Drizzle with oil and season with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to rub the oil and salt all over the vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the onion and garlic from the tray. And then roast the pumpkin for a further 30 minutes or until soft and tender. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and turn the oven to grill on high heat.
Scoop the pumpkin flesh into the bowl of a food processor (discard the pumpkin skin). Add the onion and the garlic cloves (discard the garlic skin). Add the chicken stock and shiro miso and blend until smooth. You can add more chicken stock if the soup is too thick for your liking. Transfer the soup to a saucepan over medium-high heat and keep warm.
To make the miso grilled cheese toast, mix the butter and shiro miso in a small bowl. Spread the mixture out onto the slices of bread. Top with cheese and place under the oven grill for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Ladle the hot into bowls. Drizzle with coconut cream if using and sprinkle over the sesame seeds and sichimi togarashi. Serve with miso grilled cheese toast.
– Shiro miso is also known as white miso. It has a mild, sweet flavour and can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets or from an Asian grocery store. Substitute any other miso paste you like (if it’s a saltier variety you may need to adjust how much you add).
– Sichimi togarashi (also known as Japanese 7-spice) is a type of Japanese spice powder typically containing dried chilli, sesame seeds, nori (seaweed), ground ginger and other spices. You can substitute regular chilli flakes.