Sublime soups don't get much better than this kabocha squash soup! Kabocha is such an incredibly underrated and underused vegetable – this recipe shows just how fantastic it can be.
The secret to this soup is in the slow preparation. Baked pumpkin or squash brings out an amazing depth of flavor, which makes this roasted kabocha squash soup utterly irresistible.
So, are you ready to make this wonderfully warming soup?
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Tastes different to any other vegetable soup you've ever tasted. Kabocha squashes have a really unique taste!
- Light and healthy, yet full of flavor at the same time.
- Easy to prep and super simple to make.
- The perfect easy soup for a light lunch, plus you can make a big batch!
Equipment Needed To Make This Recipe
There are a few essential items you’ll need to make this kabocha squash soup recipe:
- Baking dish – baking your squash first makes it a lot softer and easy to chop, plus it brings out a lot more flavor
- Large saucepan – you'll need a quality saucepan to make your soup
- Blender – make sure you use a quality blender that is intended for soup making, as some blenders (especially smoothie makers) aren't for use with hot liquid. You can also use an immersion blender
- Soup bowls – serve up your sublime soup with style!
How To Make Simple Kabocha Squash Soup
Placed halved kabocha squash on baking tray.
Bake until tender. When cooled down, discard the pips and scoop out the flesh. Set aside.
Gently fry the onions and carrots until softened.
Add the cumin, stock and pumpkin flesh. Simmer until everything is tender. Place in food processor and blend until smooth.
Be very careful when halving your squash. Use a non-slip chopping board and a quality sharp chef's knife.
What to Serve with Kabocha Squash Soup
- Buttered slices of wholemeal bread on the side will make a most satisfying meal. You could even make your own cheesy garlic bread or chia seed bread, both of which would taste fantastic with this soup.
- Why not go for the classic sandwiches and soup pairing? Keep it simple and serve your soup with a hummus sandwich or go all out and make a steak and caramelised onion sandwich or a brie sandwich with chicken, pear and balsamic onions!
- Cheese never fails to please! Add a side of parmesan crisps for a truly special double act. Or serve with a side plate of parmesan parsnips.
- Keep it simple and sprinkle some croutons on top of your soup.
Chardonnay is the perfect pairing option for most squash and pumpkin recipes, and it works especially well with this roasted kabocha squash soup.
You could also go for a Pinot Gris or a Riesling, both of which complement the subtle sweetness and light spiciness perfectly.
Variations To This Recipe
- Add chunks of cooked chicken to your soup to bulk it out and make it more filling.
- You can use chicken or vegetable stock in this recipe. I've gone with vegetable stock, but feel free to go with your personal tastes.
- This recipe calls for cumin to add some earthy spiciness to the flavor profile. If you want to add even more, you can add other spices into the mix. I recommend turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper or chilli powder.
- You can also add your favorite herbs to this soup. Parsley is a great garnish for any vegetable soup, but you can also add oregano, rosemary, mint, chives, thyme, marjoram, basil or sage... even wild garlic!
- Kabocha squashes are fantastic, but not always easy to get hold of. If you can't find it, you can replace it with butternut squash, acorn squash or any other type of squash.
- For a vegan version, add coconut milk in place of cream. If you want a creamy soup but prefer something lighter, you can also add sour cream.
To pick the perfect kabocha, look for one that is firm with a deep color. Also, try and find one that feels heavy for its size.
What is kabocha squash?
Kabocha Squash, sometimes referred to as Japanese pumpkin, is a type of winter squash with hard knobbly green skin. Despite its deep green outside appearance, on the inside a kabocha squash has a bright orange coloring.
A kabocha squash is actually quite similar to a butternut squash. However, there are key differences. One of the main differences is the taste. A kabocha is even sweeter than a butternut, with a unique earthiness that's kind of similar to a chestnut or a russet potato.
The first time I tasted the kabocha squash it reminded me of something else. At first, I couldn't quite put my finger on it but, after a while, it hit me that it tasted like a good old Gem Squash, which is a very common type of squash in South Africa.
In terms of texture, it's somewhere between a pumpkin and a sweet potato.
Kabocha is grown in California, Florida, Colorado and Mexico, as well as Japan and other countries around the world. It grows best in late summer and early fall.
How do I store leftovers?
Storing soup leftovers is easy. First, wait until the soup has completely cooled. Then, transfer it into an airtight container. You can keep kabocha soup fresh in the fridge for up to four days.
Can you freeze kabocha squash soup?
Yes! Most soup freezes really well, and this one is no exception.
To freeze kabocha soup, allow it to cool, then transfer it into a freezable airtight container. You can even freeze your soup in individual servings, either by spooning it into freezer bags or by using smaller containers.
Frozen soup will keep for up to three months.
How do you thaw this dish?
Thaw your frozen soup in the refrigerator for a few hours. I recommend allowing it to defrost overnight.
How do you reheat leftovers?
You can either reheat leftover kabocha soup in a saucepan on the hob or in the microwave.
To reheat soup on the hob, place the pan on a medium heat and gently heat the soup, stirring continuously until piping hot.
To heat leftovers in the microwave, loosely cover and reheat for a total of 3 minutes, pausing to stir the soup every minute.
Can this recipe be scaled?
Yes, it can easily be scaled. You can use two or three squashes to make an extra big batch of soup. Simply double or triple the ingredients below, ensuring all the ratios remain the same.
Can I make kabocha squash ahead of time?
Yes! Soup actually takes on more flavor if allowed to sit for a while. This soup can be made beforehand, then reheated on the stove just before serving. Just follow the storage and reheating guidelines above.
Other Sumptuous Soup Recipes You’ll Love
If you're a fan of soup cuisine, once you've mastered this kabocha soup, give some of these a go:
- Zucchini and leek soup – a delicious vegan soup with lots of flavor, this is the perfect light lunch option for those looking for a healthy soup
- Marrow soup – another delicious vegetable soup, this one shows just how wonderful marrows can be
- Wild garlic soup – wild garlic soup is an utter delight and unmissable for garlic fans. It's so simple to make and brings such an excellent depth of flavor
- Leek and onion soup – a classic soup that's big on taste and small on cost, this is a great budget friendly option that makes for an ideal light lunch
- Pumpkin and sweet potato soup – sweet potato soup is a dish that tastes even better with the addition of pumpkin. Garnish with your favorite herbs and you'll fall head over heels with this delicious vegan soup
Don’t forget to come back and let me know how your recipe turned out!Print
This Kabocha Squash Soup is super easy to prepare. Best served with dollops of crème fraîche and sprinkled nutmeg.
- 1.25kg (2 3/4 lbs) kabocha squash
- 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 10g (1 tbsp) ground cumin
- 200g (1 large) carrot, chopped
- 1L (4 cups) vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- cream (optional)
- pumpkin seeds, to serve (optional)
- parsley, for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/355°F/gas mark 4. Halve the squash crosswise then place squash halves in a large baking dish, shallow side down. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until fork tender.
- Wait for the squash to cool down a little, then scoop out the seeds. Peel it and chop into chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
- Cook the onion and carrot for 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the kabocha squash chunks, stock and cumin.
- Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a steady simmer and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Transfer the contents to a blender and process until silky smooth.
- Season to taste. Garnish with parsley, pumpkin seeds and cream of your choice. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Butternut squash can be used instead of Kabocha Squash.
- Cutting up raw pumpkin is hard work! In this recipe you’ll see that I take the easy path by simply roasting the pumpkin first and then just scooping the flesh out afterwards. Easy!
- Buttered slices of wholemeal bread on the side will make a most satisfying meal.
- Use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock if you prefer.
- If the soup is too thick for your taste, thin it down with a little stock.
- You can easily bulk it out into a proper meal by throwing in chunks of cooked chicken.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: Japanese
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