Kabocha squash soup is perfect for chilly days when only soup will do. Sweet kabocha squash pureed with coconut milk and ginger will fill you up and warm your belly.
This post was originally published on February 17, 2016. It has been updated with new photographs and slight changes to the recipe, as well as updated copy.
It’s November, and that means SOUP. Truth be told, I’d probably eat this soup in July, but it definitely fits November better. So for all of you starting to see the early signs of winter (my grandpa in Iowa saw snow flurries today!), this belly-warming concoction will help get you through until Spring. Wherever you are, whatever your weather, rustle up your soup pot and make this Kabocha squash soup. And this is the part where you say, WHAT THE HECK IS KABOCHA, BETH?
Let’s let Wikipedia handle this one, shall we?
Some soups are complicated, long recipes that require standing over a stove and maintaining delicate simmers. This is not that recipe. A full body warm hug that Olaf would envy can be yours in 4 simple steps.
How to make Kabocha Squash Soup
- Roast the squash
- Sauté the shallots, garlic, and ginger
- Add roasted squash, water and coconut milk and simmer for a few minutes
- Puree, season, and serve
From cutting board to bowl, this soup takes 45 minutes, tops, and half of that is hands-off time while you wait for the squash to roast and cool. Speaking of roasting…
How do you cook a Kabocha Squash?
The best way to cook a kabocha squash is to cut it into thick slices and roast them in the oven. You can cook the squash whole, but it takes a long time and it’s much harder to get the seeds out afterward (think squashy mushy mess). This is only my opinion, but it’s also correct. Plus when you cut it into wedges you get to arrange them like puzzle pieces on the baking sheet. Play with your food, I say.
WARNING – don’t sample the squash after it’s been roasted, or you might not end up with enough for the soup. It’s like squash candy. Trust me on this.
While the squash is getting its roast on, it’s time for Step 2! The seasoning for this soup is super simple – shallot, garlic, and ginger. If you don’t have a shallot, just use half of a regular onion, it’ll be just fine.
Sauté the shallot, garlic, and ginger with a splash of water or small amount of oil over medium-low heat. You don’t have to worry about chopping them in teeny tiny pieces, because they’re going to get pureed anyway. The idea is just to get a bit of color on them and let the shallots cook down a bit until they are tender and almost translucent.
After your squash has been roasted and cooled for a couple of minutes, peel the skin away and add the flesh to the pot. You know I meant squash flesh, right? Glad we can all agree on that. Cover with about 6 cups of water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Now it’s time for Step 3!
Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add a 1/2 cup of coconut milk. I love the Thai Kitchen brand, and buy it in a 6-pack from Costco because the price can’t be beat. But really, any canned coconut milk will be fine. You can also skip it or add cashew cream instead. Options are good!
Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, and then it’s time to get going with Step 4.
Puree that goodness into a silky, creamy, soup that tastes like sweet, gingery, coconut-y heaven and warms you all the way down to your tippy toes. The absolute best tool for this job is an immersion blender. It’s one of the Top 5 tools you should have in your kitchen. All you do is stick it in the pot, turn it on, and in less than a minute you’ll have a smooth puree that has earned a place in your belly. But please don’t be like me and let the cord drop onto the heating element and melt. Safety first, my friends.
Dish that soup up into your favorite bowl and swirl some coconut milk over the top all pretty like. Oh who am I kidding, we don’t need pretty when there’s eating to do! I’ll leave you to it.
P.S. My recovering picky eater Josh (age 6) LOVES this soup and gets annoyed with my husband Michael when he jokingly refers to it as kombucha squash soup. DADDY, he says, it’s KABOCHA squash soup. Sheesh. When will he learn? 😉
Kabocha Squash Soup
- 1 Kabocha squash (2-3 lbs), or substitute butternut squash
- 1 shallot, diced (or sub 1/2 an onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped (add more to taste)
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock, plus more to thin soup if necessary
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp coconut oil, optional
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the kabocha squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut into 1" thick slices, and roast on the baking sheet for 25-30 minutes or until fork-tender. Let cool until you can handle them enough to peel the skin away.
- While the squash is roasting, sauté the shallot, garlic, and ginger in a medium pot over medium-low heat, until the shallot is tender and somewhat translucent. Remove from the heat until the squash is roasted and peeled.
- Add the squash to the pot, and cover with water or vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add the coconut milk.
- Turn off the heat, and puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender. Alternatively, puree the soup in a blender in batches, being careful not to overfill the blender.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper to your taste, and serve.
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Hannah Elizabeth says
Yum!!! I’ve wanted to try kabocha for a long time now, but have been unsure how one ate it. This provides two ways, 1) this scrumptious-looking soup, and 2) squash candy. Yes! I know what I’m looking for next time I’m at Whole Foods. ?
Brittany | Words Like Honeycomb says
This looks sooo delicious and I love that you gave me a Kabocha lesson. I feel like I have just become aware of the word in the last couple of weeks, let alone know what it was! It sounds like I need to get all kinds of friendly with it…YUM!
Thanks so much, Brittany! 🙂 I think it’s such a fun word to say! 🙂 If you look for it at your grocery store, it might also be labeled Japanese Pumpkin, just FYI. It’s the same thing.
Kay Vee says
Made this tonight and the family loved it!! Quite surprised at how easy it was to make and the subtle, creamy, slightly nutty flavor was wonderful! A keeper
Loved your soup recipe. We grew many of these little Kabocha squash gems last summer. They grew surprisingly well here in Alberta. Its March now and its time to use them up before they start going off. We used low fat coconut milk to reduce the fat content a bit and also trimmed back on the amount of ginger. Your recipe is easy, delicious and much appreciated. Thank you.
We grew quite a few of these little gems in our garden last summer. They grew surprisingly well here in Alberta. They stored extremely well but it is now March and I want to use them up before they go off. Your recipe was easy and delicious. We used low fat coconut milk and trimmed back on the ginger a bit. Thank you for sharing.
Marilyn Webb says
I LOVE this soup! last fall we harvested a bunch of kabocha squashes and they were starting to spoil. I roasted them up and put the roasted pieces in the freezer. I just made the soup yesterday (not my first time, but first using frozen squash) and it was fantastic! I don’t peel the squash since it’s organic – no need. the color is a little less pretty but still beautiful and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!!
konstantine goudz says
Delicious! I used the extra kabocha in my apple sauce
What a great idea! And thank you for reminding me to make this soup! 🙂
Can I substitute almond milk for coconut milk?
Hi Jen! Absolutely, but I’d use a little less to start with because it’s not as thick as the coconut milk. And obviously the flavor will be slightly different, but still delicious!
Tammy Jo Kerney says
My Goodness! Maybe the best squash recipe I have ever tried. My husband said this is fine restaurant eating here! ???????? Our store didn’t have the Kabocha Squash. I used 3 10oz bags of raw pre cut up Butternut Squash, which I roasted with cracked pepper. I also tried my new immersion blender for the very 1st time. Thank you for sharing! Everything I have tried from you this week has been amazing! I will definitely make the soup again. Hopefully our store will get some Kabocha Squash that we can try on the future. ????
Haifa Martinez says
Thank you for sharing the plant goodness, the easy steps and most of all the HUMOR!!!
Such a yummy and simple recipe! Aside from the fact that I almost killed myself trying to cut the squash into wedges, the skin was nearly unpenatratable but neverthess I persisted…
I used cashew cream instead of coconut, just as creamy and mostly becuase I won’t have leftover coconut milk.
Turned out sooo good… I only tried the roased squash after it was all safely in the pot with water and was standing over my cutting board eating the rest out of the shell…. haha.. ????
Jennifer Welsh says
Do you have to skin the squash? I know that the skin is edible.
Lala Lee says
Everything about this recipe and presentation was absolutely wonderful. The descriptions, lessons and explanations made this a super easy recipe with top notch results. I always wanted to make this soup but never put the effort into trying. Thanks for the warning about not eating most of the roasted pumpkin. That’s delicious as well Lucky for living in Hawaii, kambocha is plentiful.
Mia Fernandes says
I made this for the first time on thanksgiving day- a week ago now. It was super easy and tasted superb that very first time! I have made it three times in the past week- that’s how much my family likes it! I substitute the shallot for half an onion as suggested, works like a charm. Thanks so much for this wonderful soup recipe!
Tiffany Schmidt says
This has been our go to squash soup recipe every winter now for the past two years. Thank you for such a lovely and concise recipe!
Things I do to it to add protein or texture: whisk in integral collagen and top with sour cream and pumpkin seeds.
I make coconut milk by blending coconut flakes with water. Ka-boom.
Patricia Jones says
Hi, Beth very right you are in winter we all want soup to make us warm and you added cocount oil and ginger that’s such a great idea . I loved your recipe.