I grew up eating a lot of persimmons. In winter, on our insulated kitchen balcony, we’d always have a wooden box full of these ripe copper-colored fruits, either the Hachiya kind, bursting with juicy honey-like gooey jelly when bitten, the “Korolyok” Chocolate type, with its dark brown flesh and sweet notes, or the Fuyu: crunchy, firm, and bright on the inside. Everyone in the family had their favorite, and some ate the fruit with a spoon while others preferred to bite it like an apple. For dessert, we’d get the cold fruit from the balcony, and it was always a wrench between wanting to dig into it right away but also trying to comply with mom saying “Let it warm up and get softer!”
I haven’t had a persimmon for years since moving to the U.S. I’ve seen them occasionally in stores, but it somehow felt different, like the spot for persimmons is forever reserved on my family’s balcony back home. I couldn’t just walk into a store and buy one or two of them without the big box and everybody around to eat it — to me it felt meant to be shared.
Last week, I finally had a realization: I could use it in something savory! If it’s not a fruit for dessert, it’s a different thing all together! Adding persimmon to my curried squash soup was the best idea of this winter. Period. It’s just so good.
- 2 Tablespoons oil or ghee
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
- 1 inch ginger, peeled, sliced
- Chipotle flakes to taste
- 2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 2 cups (2 medium) persimmons, chopped
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- Salt to taste
- For serving (optional):
- 4-6 shrimp, peeled, pan-seared
- 2 Tablespoons coconut milk
- Chipotle or chili flakes
- Herbs (young sage leaves or twigs of thyme)
- Serves 2
1. Heat up oil in a pot, add onion, garlic, ginger, and chipotle flakes. Cook and stir for 2-3 mins.
2. Add squash and persimmon and about 2 cups of water just to cover the contents. Cover with a lid and cook for about 12-15 mins until squash is soft.
3. Open the lid, stir in coconut milk, curry powder and salt. Cook for 5 more minutes, turn the heat off and let stand to slightly cool.
4. Use a blender to liquify until smooth.
5. Serve hot topped with shrimp, chipotle flakes, herbs and drizzled with coconut milk. Enjoy!