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.