This delicious Kabocha soup recipe is the perfect dish to make ahead of time and enjoy as a nourishing meal for lunch or weeknight dinner that you can quickly reheat.
Or entertain the idea of serving it as an appetizer for dinner parties or the Holidays.
It's comforting, creamy, and hearty, using whole Kabocha squash, and everything comes together in one pot. Bonus? It's gluten-free and dairy-free.
In the past, I’ve made this flavorful, creamy soup with one of my favorite pumpkin-shaped squash, Red Kuri, but more recently, I’ve switched it up and used similar ingredients to make a Kabocha soup (aka Japanese Squash soup), and I’ve fallen in love with it all over again.
With its velvety texture and the flavors that drift somewhere in between sweet potato and pumpkin, kabocha shines as a superstar in this simple soup.
In addition, hearty vegetables, sweet and curried spices, and a tad of rich coconut cream (although optional) beautifully blend together and create an incredibly satisfying, sweet-savory, and healthy squash soup.
And go ahead, make this Kabocha squash soup in advance because it only gets better with an overnight rest, just like my Healthy Butternut Squash Soup.
Let's dig in.
Why You Should Make This Winter Squash Soup
- Easy - So many squash-based soups require roasting ahead of time. But not this one -- it’s a timesaver.
- Delicious - The soup is perfectly spiced to balance the sweetness of the squash and deliver an incredible flavor profile.
- Nourishing & Comforting: The bright orange flesh of Kabocha combined with other nourishing vegetables makes for one hearty, comforting soup, perfect for fall or winter.
- Versatile - Have this dish for lunch or dinner, or even serve it as part of a brunch grazing board or as an appetizer at parties -- and even holidays!
Ingredients & Notes
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
All you need are a few simple ingredients from the grocery store or farmer's market and a few spices to bring this Kabocha soup together.
Kabocha Squash: Kabocha is more hollow inside than your regular butternut squash, but a medium-sized Kabocha will get you about 4 to 6 cups of cubed orange squash flesh, more or less—seeds removed.
Note: This gorgeous squash will give the soup a vibrant orange hue, impart a rich sweet flavor, and give it the most luxurious consistency. You'll see Kabocha popping up at your local grocery stores starting in early fall.
Onions & garlic: Aromatics add flavor and incredible fragrance. I prefer yellow onions, but shallots will work just as well.
Bell Pepper: This vegetable adds 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.
Vegetable Broth: It's the base of this Kabocha soup and keeps it vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Any leftover chicken broth is a great alternative and will make it richer.
Seasoning: While salt and black pepper round out the flavors of the other ingredients, curry powder gives it earthiness and warmth, and caraway seeds add undertones of pepper, citrus, and anise.
Almonds, coconut cream, and avocado: These optional add-ins round out the creamy texture and the flavor of the Kabocha soup.
Note: 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.
See the full recipe with measurements in the recipe card.
Let's make this Kabocha soup together.
Step One (Picture 1 above) - Sauté garlic and onions for 5 minutes in olive oil over medium heat. Season with sea salt and royally with black pepper.
Step Two (Picture 2 above) - Add the squash and bell pepper and season with curry powder. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
Step Three (Picture 3 above) - Pour the vegetable broth into the mixture and season with the remaining spices. Bring the soup to a steady simmer and cook until the squash is tender.
Step Four (Picture 4 above) - Remove the soup pot from the heat before stirring in almonds and pureeing until the Kabocha soup has a smooth and silky texture. Add more salt or pepper to taste, if needed. Serve immediately with coconut cream stirred in or dolloped on top. Garnish with avocado slices, if desired.
- To puree the soup, it's best to use an immersion blender (hand blender) and directly blend the Kabocha soup in a large pot. However, you can also transfer the soup in batches into a regular blender that can handle hot liquids and puree until smooth.
- It's best to use raw almonds without skin, as they blend better in the soup—but I've used nuts with skin as well. Just make sure to puree everything until it is silky and well combined.
- A tad of full-fat coconut milk or cream makes the soup richer and creamier and is highly recommended. It even adds a little sweetness.
- I use a mild curry powder blend to embed an earthy flavor and not overpower the sweetness of the Kabocha.
- Other Squash - You can use butternut squash, acorn squash, or, as mentioned, one of my favorites, Red Kuri squash. They’ll all impart similar textures while also adding their own unique flavors.
- Broth - While this soup is vegetarian and vegan, if you prefer, you can add chicken stock or bone broth instead of vegetable stock.
- Garnish - Try other garnishes like pumpkin seeds. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or stir in heavy cream instead of coconut cream if dairy is not an issue for you.
- Heat - For a spicier soup, add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
What To Serve With Squash Soup
Even though it’s entirely veggie-based, this is a hearty and filling soup, so you may not need too many, if any, sides. But if you do, here are a few suggestions.
- 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 quick 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.
- Serve proteins on the side, like a hearty slice of juicy cast-iron chicken or some leftover baked salmon.
Store kabocha soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftover soup on the stove over low heat while stirring occasionally or microwave in increments.
You can also freeze leftovers once cooled—avoid any avocado slices. Store in freezer-safe containers, and it is best to freeze in individual portions. Defrost overnight or reheat directly from frozen in the microwave for those lazy days too.
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 their orange flesh—see pic 2.
Remove the seeds—see pic 3.
Cut each half into smaller segments—see pic 4.
I like to use a vegetable peeler to peel off the green Kabocha skin of each segment while carefully holding the segment in my other hand—see pic 5
Slice each segment of the flesh of the squash into smaller cubes—see pic 6.
Note: Don't have a vegetable peeler? Then place each smaller segment down on its side on a flat surface and proceed with carefully slicing off the peel with your knife (in the direction away from you).
You can always cut the Kabocha 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 in a freezer-save container.
More Comforting Soup Recipes You Might Like
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This Kabocha squash soup recipe is perfect for chilly days. Make it this fall, or rotate it as one of your favorite winter soup recipes! Enjoy.
Easy One-Pot Kabocha Squash Soup RecipeMariska Ramondino
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions or one large, diced (about 380 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 Kabocha Squash or butternut or Red Kuri squash, cubed (about 3 lbs/1.36 kg)
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced 190 grams
- 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 6 cups vegetable broth 48fl or 1.4L
- 2 teaspoons Caraway fruits/seeds
- ½ cup raw almonds, preferably blanched 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 freshly ground black pepper to taste.2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 small yellow onions, 2 cloves garlic, Salt and black pepper
- 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 frequently stir for 5 minutes together with the onions, pot half-covered.1 Kabocha Squash, 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced, 1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
- Add the vegetable broth—season with caraway fruits and ½ teaspoon salt. Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a steady simmer on high-medium heat.6 cups vegetable broth, 2 teaspoons Caraway fruits/seeds
- Lower the heat back to medium or medium-low to maintain a steady simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until the squash is tender but slightly al dente—stir frequently.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds.½ cup raw almonds, preferably blanched
- You can also transfer the soup in batches into a regular blender that can handle hot liquids 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 for garnish (optional).2 tablespoons coconut cream, 1 avocado
- Store soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It is best to reheat the soup on the stove over low heat while stirring occasionally.
- You can also freeze the soup once cooled without adding avocado slices. Store in a freezer-safe container (s) and freeze in individual portions.
- Defrost overnight or reheat directly from frozen for those lazy days, too.
- Other Squash: You can use butternut, acorn, or Red Kuri squash. They'll all impart similar textures while also adding their own unique flavors.
- Broth: If preferred, use chicken broth or bone broth instead of vegetable broth.
- Garnish: Try other garnishes like pumpkin seeds. You can also add a dollop of sour cream or stir in heavy cream instead of coconut cream if dairy is not an issue.
- Heat: Add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for a spicier soup.
- It's best to use raw almonds without skin, as they blend better in the soup—but I've also used nuts with skin. Just make sure to puree everything until it is silky and well combined.
- A tad of full-fat coconut milk or cream makes the soup richer and creamier and is highly recommended. It even adds a little sweetness. For a creamier soup, add ¼ cup instead of 2 tablespoons.
- Use a mild curry powder blend to embed an earthy flavor and not overpower the sweetness of the Kabocha.
- You'll get about 12 to 14 cups of Kabocha soup. As a meal, count at least 2 cups per person.
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Nutrition (% Daily value)
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.