Everyone enjoys a warm, thick, and hearty soup after a long day. Kabocha squash soup is a nutritious soup that utilizes a Japanese pumpkin called Kabocha.
This tummy warming soup is perfect for a cold evening in. It’s easy to make and goes great with some crusty garlic bread.
What is a Kabocha Squash?
Kabocha squash, otherwise known as a Japanese pumpkin, is a winter squash, similar in flavor to butternut squash or acorn squash.
What Kind Of Soup Can You Make With Kabocha Squash?
Unlike butternut squash, the possibilities for flavor combinations are endless with this squash. This particular recipe uses curry, but you can turn this into a Thai soup with peanut butter and/or some red Thai curry paste with a splash of lime juice, a more Americanized flavor using nutmeg and cloves or allspice, or a Japanese style flavor with Miso, garlic, and ginger. This squash is very versatile!
Is Kabocha Squash Healthy?
Absolutely! It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and has tons of vitamin A and Carotenoids! It will also give you a good dose of folic acid and vitamin C.
What Is The Difference Between Butternut Squash And Kabocha Squash?
While they are similar in flavor, they are not the same. Butternut squash tends to have a bit more of a “nutty” flavor than Kabocha. Kabocha has a more mellow flavor.
Also, butternut is usually tan-ish/orange-ish in color and is a longer squash, while the more round, green variety of Kabocha (Called Sweet Mama) is what you will typically find in stores in the states.
Other varieties of Kabocha squash include a Winter Sweet, which is gray in color, and a Sunshine, which is red in color.
It’s also worth noting that a Kabocha squash soup will handle far more flavor varieties overall than a butternut squash soup.
Is Kabocha Squash Skin Good For You?
The skin of this squash is edible and adds a lot of fiber to a serving of this squash. It’s a thin skin that softens when cooked. In fact, many recipes call for leaving the skin on.
How to Cook Kabocha Squash
Baked Kabocha Squash
Kabocha squash is no different than any other squash. However, you normally cook a winter squash will also work for a Kabocha too.
For me, that means cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, and placing it cut-side-down on a baking pan with edges. Then I pour enough water into the pan to come up on the squash about half an inch and place it in a preheated oven at 350 F. and bake for about 1 hour.
It’s done when you can easily pierce the skin with a knife or fork.
Roasted Kabocha Squash
For even more flavor, you can roast the squash instead, if you prefer. Simply preheat the oven to 375 F., cut up the squash, toss it with a bit of oil, and roast it in the oven. In this case, it’s easiest to leave the skin on, but the choice is yours. Roast for about 40-50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and has a gold-brown color. To make for easier cleanup, you can put down a piece of parchment paper on your pan. But you’ll get less of a roast and more of a bake this way.
How To Prepare Kabocha Squash For Soup
Once cooked, scoop the flesh out of the skin with a large spoon and put it in a bowl. You can either puree it in a blender before you make your soup, or you can simply add everything to it in a pot and then blend after cooking. I used a stick blender for this recipe, but a regular blender will work if you work in batches.
Thickening This Soup Without More Fat
If you prefer, you can blend in a baked potato (removed the skin). This will thicken the soup without adding more fat. It’s also a great option if you prefer to use light coconut milk.
Vegan Kabocha Squash Soup
This soup is naturally vegan, but can easily be made with chicken broth if you prefer that.
1 cup chopped red onion – In a pinch, you can use a yellow onion. But red onion adds a sweeter flavor.
1 cup sliced carrots – To make life easy, you can buy them already sliced.
2 tbsp. oil – I used coconut oil, but use whatever oil you normally cook with. Olive oil is a good choice here.
3 cups cooked Kabocha squash – This is from 1 medium kabocha squash (about 2.5 to 3 lbs.)
4 cups vegetable broth – No sugar added, low sodium is best. You can use chicken broth if you prefer that. Opt for gluten-free if needed.
15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk – You can also use light coconut milk, but the soup won’t be as creamy. Avoid the stuff from the refrigerator section unless you can find an unsweetened brand. But that would still produce a thinner soup.
1 tbsp garlic granules – Garlic powder works fine too. If you prefer fresh garlic, mince 6 cloves garlic and sauté with the onions and carrots in step 1. But add them 1 minute before you remove the pot from the stove so they don’t burn. 1 minute is all the garlic needs.
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garam masala – If you don’t have this or can’t find it in the stores, you can omit it.
2 tsp. curry powder – I kept this mild, but you can add more to taste to strengthen the flavor. I personally added some because I enjoy a strong curry flavor. I used about 1½ tablespoons.
2 tbsp. maple syrup – Use the real stuff, not the imitation pancake syrup stuff.
Salt and ground black pepper – Add to taste. I used pink Himalayan salt, but use whatever you normally cook with.
Parsley – Optional for a fresh garnish. Sprinkle over the soup after it’s been served in a bowl or serving dish.
How To Make Kabocha Squash Soup
Heat oil in a large soup pot.
Sauté the onions and carrots over medium heat to medium-high heat in the oil until the onions become translucent and slightly golden brown on the edges.
Once your squash is prepared, place all the ingredients for the soup into a large soup pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft enough to blend. Stir occasionally.
Blend the soup, using an immersion blender. Or transfer a bit at a time into a regular blender and blend in batches. However, if you do this, make sure to let the soup cool first. Hot blenders tend to explode from the build-up of steam/pressure.
Serve with a couple of slices of crusty garlic bread or naan.
How To Store Kabocha Squash Soup
This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How To Freeze Kabocha Squash Soup
This freezes really well! Simply pack it up in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What To Serve With Kabocha Squash Soup
If you are looking to round out this meal, here are a few suggestions:
- Crusty garlic bread
- A green salad
- Add some chickpeas into the soup for extra bulk and fiber
- Add some brown rice to the soup.
- Wild rice would also be a nice addition to this soup
Kabocha Squash Soup For Kids
This soup is more for adults, only because of the spice level. However, if you omit the garam masala and use just ½ to 1 tsp. of curry powder, it should reduce the heat enough to be appropriate for children.
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Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
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- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 3 cups cooked kabocha squash (approximately a 3 lb. squash)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 15 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. garlic granules (or powder)
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large soup pot.
- Sauté the onions and carrots over medium heat to medium-high heat in the oil until the onions become translucent and slightly golden brown on the edges.
- Once your squash is prepared, place all the ingredients for the soup into a large soup pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the carrots are soft enough to blend. Stir occasionally.
- Blend the soup, using an immersion blender. Or transfer a bit at a time into a regular blender and blend in batches. However, if you do this, make sure to let the soup cool first. Hot blenders tend to explode from the build-up of steam/pressure.
- Serve with a couple of slices of crusty garlic bread or naan.