Thick, creamy and velvety Kabocha squash soup is easy to make and is the perfect year-round coup! No need to simmer for hours on the stovetop, just cut, cook for 10 minutes, and add seasoning - delicious. Enjoy the richness of kabocha with Japanese pumpkin soup today!
Kabocha Squash Soup
If like me, you’ve wondered about what is the best way to cook kabocha, you’re in the right place. I’ll share the most flavourful, quick and easy kabocha squash soup with you today. It’ll be your new go to soup.
Kabocha is Japanese pumpkin, sometimes referred to as winter squash. It's similar to butternut squash, but sweeter, thicker and creamier. It’s got a moreish rich nutty flavour.
I love kabocha. If you’re wondering 'besides butternut squash what other squashes are good in a soup?', this kabocha soup should be at the top of your lists. It's one of the most popular winter squash recipes in Japan, along with simmered kabocha (kabocha no nimono) and roasted kabocha squash.
This golden yellow squash soup recipe is perfect for thanksgiving or other festive occasions. Bring joy into your life and share it with loved ones. Read on!
Ingredients for Kabocha Soup
Where to find kabocha squash
Kabocha is popular and is pretty readily available at most regular supermarkets these days, but if not, certainly at Japanese or Asian shops. It's usually called Japanese pumpkin in Australia and kabocha squash in North America.
What I love most about this kabocha is that it's naturally rich in flavour with a hint of sweetness, and has a great velvety texture. So you can enjoy it without adding a lot of seasoning.
How to choose a best kabocha for this soup recipe
What makes a good kabocha squash soup recipe is to find the right kabocha. Here are a few tips for how I find the ripe kabocha:
- Look out for kabocha with dark green coloured skin. If it has an orange part on the green skin, it's a sign of ripeness.
- Kabocha with thick stems are good. The stem should be dry with the end a bit hollowed out/sunken.
If the kabocha is cut in half or quarters, look out for a deep orangery colour inside. That's the best for this kabocha soup recipe. There are also Japanese pumpkins with a yellow flesh colour, but the orange is best for this recipe, as it’s richer and sweeter in flavour.
Kabocha can be kept for a month. So grab one when you find it at the store!
If you aren't able to find kabocha squash locally, try Mexican pumpkin. It works perfectly well.
How to Make Kabocha Squash Soup
There are lots of ways of making kabocha soup, including roasted kabocha squash soup. But this kabocha squash soup is the quickest and easiest to make and every bit as tasty. My goal is to make thick, creamy and delicious kabocha soup with simple ingredients and cooking.
How do you cut kabocha squash for soup?
I used to have trouble cutting kabocha squash because the skin is so hard. Of course, the starting point is to use a sharp knife.
Hold the knife handle with one hand, and place the knife next to the dried stem. Make sure to place the other hand on top of the knife. Then push down with some pressure when you cut.
If cutting this squash is too hard for you, put it in the microwave for two minutes. Cut the kabocha into smaller cubes. This helps you cook them with the onion quickly.
How to Flavor Kabocha Squash Soup
Kabocha has a great natural, rich, nutty flavour and sweetness. You really don’t need to go to a lot of trouble to enjoy it. I use simple ingredients including vegetable stock, sea salt, ground pepper and bay leaves.
Once the soup is cooked, use a blender to make it's smooth, add whole milk (or plant based milk – coconut works) and simmer for five minutes. This makes the texture extra smooth, creamy and velvety.
That's it! Drop some heavy cream, natural yogurt or sour cream, and sprinkle finely chopped parsley on top. Then serve immediately.
Grind black pepper and good quality salt on top just before serving. Enjoy!
How to Store Kabocha Squash Soup
This winter squash soup can last for three days in the fridge. If the soup becomes thicker, you can add a little whole milk to lighten it.
Is kabocha squash like butternut squash?
Yes. Kabocha is similar to butternut squash. But it's thicker, creamier and richer in taste than butternut squash. So I use less seasoning for the soup.
Is the skin of kabocha squash edible?
Kabocha skin is edible. I didn’t use them for this recipe as I wanted it to be super velvety and smooth, but it’s perfectly fine to keep the skin on.
More side dish recipes
Kabocha Squash Soup
- ½ kabocha squash (note 1) (3.5 pounds, 2.4lb, 1.2kg)
- 1 tablespoon butter (or I use olive oil)
- 1 onion (sliced, 200g)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups whole milk (or coconut milk)
- ½ cup cream
- chopped fresh parsley
- freshly ground
- Clean the pumpkin skin with running water. If it's cut in half already, there’s no need to wash inside orange fruit.
- Use a sharp knife. Hold the handle with one hand, and place the knife next to the dried kabocha stem. Make sure to place the other hand on top of the knife. Then push down with some pressure when you cut. (note 2)
- Cut off the skin with the knife. Then cut it into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes.
- Add medium heat to a large pot, and melt butter. Cook sliced onions for five minutes. Use spatula and stir them occasionally.
- Add kabocha cubes and combine with cooked onions.
- Add vegetable stock, salt, ground pepper and bay leaves. Bring the kabocha mix to a simmer, and cook for ten minutes. Add milk and cook for a further five minutes.
- Remove from heat, and use a hand-held (stick) blender until smooth.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, put a dollop of cream and some finely chopped parsley on top.That's it! Sprinkle freshly ground pepper, and good quality salt to enjoy the soup with!
- Kabocha can be easily found at local Japanese or Asian shops. It’s in season in the fall/autumn, but you can sometimes find it at other times. Find a well rounded kabocha with a dark green skin. If there is an orange part, that's the sign of a ripe kabocha. Make sure the stem is dried out.
- If the skin is too hard for cutting, place the kabocha in the microwave for two minutes. This helps to soften the kabocha.