Kabocha squash is seriously one of my favorite ingredients. Also called Japanese squash, this winter squash has a warm, sweet, and creamy flavor.
I love roasting it and adding it to salads, but as the Fall gets colder, I’m throwing it into a warm soup. I like to cut an entire kabocha squash and freeze the cubes that I don’t use that night. It makes this recipe even easier to make later in the week (like when you’re really tired).
So this is my Kabocha Squash Soup recipe that I make every few weeks. Adapt heavily to your own tastes (and then share your favorite combos in the comments!).
How to make Kabocha Squash Soup
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the squash pieces on a roasting pan. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash about 45 minutes.
Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onion slices and garlic. Cook until softened.
Add the garlic and curry paste and cook for 2 minutes more on medium heat.
Place the roasted kabocha squash into the soup pot. Add the vegetable stock, coconut cream, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer. Partially cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat.
Puree the kabocha squash soup using an immersion blender. Be sure to leave a steam vent if you’re using a regular blender.
Pour the deliciously creamy soup into a large bowl and top with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with lime wedges and chopped cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds.
I’ve made this amazing soup many times, here are a few tips for making this kabocha squash soup:
1. Cutting kabocha squash
Kabocha squash can be difficult to cut. You can just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and then peel it with a vegetable peeler. Once it’s peeled, it’s pretty easy to cut into cubes.
I often skip the peeling process and cut the squash into cubes anyway. If you do this, then I recommend using a heavy chef’s knife to make the task easier. This is my favorite set that I bring with me all over the world:
2. Roasting pumpkin squash
I love roasting kabocha squash before adding it to soup. It intensifies the flavor and makes the soup more complex. To roast the squash, I usually just toss it with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Then I roast it at 400F for about 30 minutes, or until it’s fork-tender.
Alternatively, you can steam the squash instead, but you’ll miss out on all that delicious caramelized flavor.
3. Adding texture and flavor
Kabocha squash soup is pretty creamy on its own, but I like to add some texture with chopped kale or spinach, or other vegetables.
I usually keep the spices pretty simple in this soup. I like to add some ginger for flavor.
If you want to get a little more adventurous, you could add some red pepper flakes, cumin, or even a pinch of cinnamon.
4. Swapping other ingredients
- Winter squash – I like to use any kind of winter squash in this recipe. Sometimes I can’t find kabocha squash, so I’ll use acorn squash or butternut squash instead.
- Fresh herbs – I don’t always have fresh cilantro on hand. Instead, I’ll have freshly chopped parsley or green onions instead. Have fun exploring with different toppings.
- Spices – I looovvveee adding cinnamon and cumin (ditching the curry) for a warm squash soup. I’m a big fan of playing with flavors.
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
- ½ kabocha squash
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp curry paste
- 1 lt vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- fresh cilantro chopped
- lime wedges
- pumpkin seeds toasted
- Set the oven to 400°F.
- Place the squash pieces on a roasting pan. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt. Roast the squash about 45 minutes.
- Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until softened.
- Add the garlic and curry paste and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Place the roasted kabocha squash into the pot. Add the stock, coconut cream, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer. Partially cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender.
- Serve with lime wedges and chopped cilantro and pumpkin seeds.
Common questions about this recipe
I did some bopping around online and found that most people have the same few questions about this recipe, so I thought I’d answer them here.
Is kabocha squash similar to butternut squash?
Kabocha squash and butternut squash are similar in that they are both winter squash with orange flesh. They are both also fairly sweet with a nutty flavor.
However, kabocha squash is a bit drier than butternut squash, and the skin of a kabocha squash is edible while the skin of a butternut squash is not.
How do you soften kabocha squash?
The easiest way to soften kabocha squash is to cut it into small pieces and roast it in the oven. You can also steam it or microwave it.
To steam it, add the squash pieces to a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam for 10 minutes or until fork-tender.
To microwave it, add the squash pieces to a microwave-safe bowl with 1/2 cup of water. Cover and microwave for
Can you freeze kabocha squash soup?
Yes, you can freeze kabocha squash soup. Let the soup cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Kabocha squash soup will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How do you make kabocha squash soup creamy?
To make kabocha squash soup creamy, you can add full-fat coconut milk, heavy cream, or half and half. You could also add some plain yogurt. I like to keep things vegan, opting for all vegan dairy products, but go wild with what you have on hand and like.