One of my favorite pumpkins, the Red Kuri Squash, shines in this creamy and easy-to-make healthy soup recipe.
Hearty vegetables, sweet and curried spices, the richness of a tad of coconut cream—although optional—beautifully blend in and create an incredibly satisfying, sweet-savory, and healthy squash soup.
It's gluten-free and dairy-free. Let's dig in.
Table of Contents: How to make this squash soup I Which squash is best for this soup (alternatives) I How to prepare and cook Red Kuri Squash I Alter this soup recipe for babies, toddlers I Make it a festive or Holiday Soup I What to serve with squash soup I More healthy soups you will love
Here is an easy Red Kuri squash soup that'll give you that "something special" and brings out this pumpkin's sweetness without the need for roasting the squash first.
Instead, garlic, yellow onions, red bell pepper enhance its sweet and nutty flavors. Then everything is shortly simmered in a vegetable broth while caraway seeds and curry powder add savory notes.
Raw almonds add a natural creaminess, although you can go a tad richer with a swirl of coconut cream and slices of avocado for garnish.
You can adjust the seasoning to make it more naturally sweet or a tad spicier, depending on who you serve it to.
And go ahead, make this Kuri squash soup in advance because it only gets better with an overnight rest.
But before you jump to the recipe, let's cover some notes.
How to make this squash soup
Red Kuri Squash: If you have never tried this sweet squash, you are going to be pleasantly surprised by its wonderfully smooth texture and almost chestnut-like flavor.
It's more hollow inside than your regular butternut squash, but a medium-sized Kuri will get you about 4 to 6 cups of cubed orange pumpkin flesh, more or less—seeds removed.
Onions, garlic, and bell pepper:
- These vegetables add extra sweet and hearty flavors.
- Go for a red or orange bell pepper as they are naturally sweeter and complement the color of the squash.
- I prefer yellow onions, but shallots will work just as well.
Vegetable broth immediately adds extra flavor. But you can use water instead and add one or two vegetable bouillon cubes. Make sure to taste test and add more seasoning if needed.
Salt, black pepper, Curry powder, Caraway seeds:
- It is a seasoning combo that makes this soup extremely hearty with a savory touch.
- Prefer a more seasoned soup, then add more curry powder.
- Caraway fruits are one of my favorite seasonings. They stimulate the appetite and help with digestion. But I particularly love their subtle sweet, almost anise-like flavor that beautifully balances the curry powder.
- Season to taste with salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Almonds, coconut cream, and avocado:
- Blending in almonds adds heart-healthy fats, proteins, and makes the soup naturally creamy.
- I sometimes like to add a tad of coconut cream for a silkier texture, but that is optional.
- Another favorite garnish is slices of avocado.
Which squash is best for this soup (alternatives)
Don't have any Red Kuri? Then use butternut squash instead, or another one of my favorites for this soup is Kabocha squash.
You can substitute any other winter squash for Red Kuri Squash. Just know that out of the bunch, Kabocha is a lot sweeter—almost sweet potato-like. So, increase the amount of curry powder if you wish to tone that down a bit.
How to prepare and cook Red Kuri Squash
- It's much easier to peel a winter squash when you first cut it into smaller segments.
- It's best to use a sharp chef's knife to carefully slice off the ends first (about ½-inch or so) and discard—see pic 1.
- You then want to cut it up in half, exposing the seeds and it's orange flesh—see pic 2.
- You can keep the seeds, or if you so wish to do so, remove them (either discard or clean and lightly season with some salt and then bake until deep golden in a 375 F preheated oven).
- Then cut each half into smaller segments—see pic 3.
- I like to use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin of each segment while carefully holding it in my other hand—see pic 4.
- Once everything has been peeled, slice each segment into smaller cubes—see pic 5.
- Don't have a vegetable peeler? Then place each smaller segment cut side down on a flat surface and proceed with carefully slicing off the peel with your knife (make sure to slice in the direction away from you).
- You can cut the Red Kuri Squash in advance, and then store it in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 to 5 days, or freeze it for up to 3 to 4 months.
- How to cook the squash: when ready to make the soup, the peeled and cubed squash is first sautéed for 5 minutes with the rest of the vegetables to release their flavors. And then shortly simmered in a broth until fork-tender. But don't overcook them, you want them preferrably firm to the bite to preserve as much flavor as possible.
Alter this soup recipe for babies, toddlers
This recipe can become a healthy vegetable soup for babies and toddlers who can enjoy solid foods with a few adjustments.
- Remove the curry powder, pepper, and almonds (if you have an allergy concern.) Or wait at least until they turn one to introduce these spices slowly.
- Skip the salt or add only a few pinches. Babies don't need it nor care for it. I remember not introducing salt to my daughter until she became one. It all depends on what your toddler is already consuming.
- You can add more squash to make the soup thicker or even blend in some avocado slices upon serving.
- Turn the soup into easy meals by freezing it into individual sizes without any garnishes. Once you take it out, reheat directly from frozen over the stove in a small pot until it is warm (not hot) enough to feed your toddler. At this point, you can puree in an avocado.
Make it a festive or Holiday Soup
This soup looks pretty on any Holiday table, especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas, or to impress guests.
And because it freezes well, it's one of those menu items you can easily prep in advance and simply reheat and dress up when ready to serve.
And for those with no dairy concerns, a tad of mascarpone cream makes this soup even more luxurious.
What to serve with squash soup
Because this Kuri Squash soup is incredibly filling, I would keep it light and straightforward. So, here are a few side dishes that go well with it for lunch or dinner.
- Enjoy with a beautiful green salad such as this Sweet-Kale Apple Salad with Creamy Avocado Pesto.
- Pair it with oven-baked potatoes, homemade biscuits, or a farmer's or sweet bread for dipping. You can make these recipes in advance or have them already in the oven when you prepare the soup.
- Serve it as an appetizer in smaller bowls or cups to whet the appetite during the Holidays with toasted bread or croutons on the side.
These are just a few ideas to enjoy this Red Kuri squash soup.
More healthy soups you will love
Here are some other comforting and healthy soups that I think you are going to love as well!
- A Healthy Carrot Shallot Soup with Fresh Parsley
- Healthy Butternut Squash-Zucchini and Rosemary Soup
- Protein-rich green pea soup (vegetarian)
- Hearty Bok Choy Noodle Soup
- A hearty Slow Cooker Bone Broth
- A Nourishing Stracciatella Soup
- A Hearty, Healthy Vegetable Soup
Red Kuri Squash SoupMariska Ramondino
- Minimum 5 QT saucepan or pot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions or one large, diced (380 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 Red Kuri Squash or butternut or kabocha squash, cubed (about 3 lbs/1.36 kg)
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced 190 grams
- ½ teaspoon curry powder up to 1 ½ teaspoon for a more savory taste
- 6 cups vegetable broth 48fl/1.4L
- 2 teaspoons Caraway fruits/seeds
- ½ cup raw almonds 75 grams
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream or mascarpone cheese if you don't mind dairy] (about 30 grams)
- 1 avocado peeled and sliced for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Season with one teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the onions are soft (not browned).
- Stir in the squash and bell pepper—season with curry powder—Cook and stir for 5 minutes together with the onions.
- Then add the vegetable broth—season with caraway fruits and ½ tsp salt. Cover and bring to a steady simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender but slightly al dente—stir frequently.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.
- You can also transfer the soup in two batches into a traditional blender and puree until smooth (be extremely careful not to fill the blender too full with a hot liquid).
- Add more salt or pepper to taste, if needed.
- Stir in the coconut cream while the soup is still hot (optional),, or serve a small teaspoon on top to garnish with some avocado slices (see picture.)
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.
(Note: this post was initially published in December 2019. This post has been updated to include new info and photos)