Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

Soup and StewGluten-FreePaleoWinter Squash

Roasted kabocha squash soup, thick and creamy, with ginger, cumin, and coriander. Perfect for fall!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you come across “Kabocha” squash in the market? It’s a Japanese variety of winter squash, one that is heavy and thick-fleshed, similar in that way to butternut squash, with a deep, rich flavor.

Typically the outer skin is forest green, though some varieties are sunset orange and red as well.

Kabocha Squash

My friend Kori gave me a kabocha squash this week, a big beautiful red one she grew in her garden. I had seen several peeking under the mess of sprawling vines and squash leaves when I visited her a while back.

They were already red, but not quite ready to pick. Apparently you have to wait for the vine to almost completely die back before picking the squash.

Kabocha Squash

The thing about kabocha is that there is no better squash with which to make soup. Unlike many other varieties of winter squash such as pumpkins, kabocha squashes are almost all flesh.

The seeds can be scraped out and roasted like any pumpkin seed. But mostly what you get with a kabocha is thick, solid winter squash, which cooks up into the most flavorful soup.

I wanted to make sure we did well by this squash, and I think indeed we have!

This soup is thick and creamy without any cream, none is necessary to achieve the texture.

It’s flavored with fresh ginger root, ground cumin, and coriander. A splash of lime juice when ready to serve helps balance the natural sweetness of the squash. We’ve garnished with fresh cilantro, but if cilantro isn’t your thing you could easily skip it.

Craving more squash soup recipes?

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • A half a large kabocha squash, seeded (about 3 to 4 pounds for the half)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped or sliced onions
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Garnish with lime juice and chopped fresh cilantro

Method

1 Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a heavy chef's knife or cleaver (it helps if you have a rubber mallet as well) to cut the kabocha squash half into a few large pieces. (Kabocha squash is thick and meaty and can be a challenge to cut. So take care! Make sure the squash is stable on your cutting board before you start to cut it.)

Scoop out the seeds (you can toast them like pumpkin seeds!) and stringy insides. Place the squash pieces on a foil or silpat lined roasting pan. Rub olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt.

Put the squash pieces skin side up on the pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until completely cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let sit.

2 Sauté onions, celery, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander: Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large (4 to 6 quart) thick-bottomed pan. Add the onions and celery. Lower the heat to medium and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook 2 minutes more.

3 Add squash, stock, salt, pepper, then simmer: Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Place the roasted kabocha squash flesh into the pot with the onions and celery mixture. Add the stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

4 Purée the soup: Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender (or work in batches with a standing blender, only filling the blender bowl 1/3 of the way each time) to purée the soup.

Add more salt to taste. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro to serve.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Links:

Kabocha Soup from Just One Cookbook

Kabocha Squash Soup with Fennel and Ginger from Dolly and Oatmeal

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

80 Comments / Reviews

No ImageRoasted Kabocha Squash Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Eve

    My whole family loved it!

    It has a beautiful ginger kick and isn’t shy with salt.

    My husband says it reminded him of his favorite soup in Botswana.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Shiela

    Tried it with a bit of tweak!! Added some chili flakes because i like it spicy and garbanzo beans for protein. Also used vegetable broth.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Meredith

    This was very good! I used homemade veggie broth to keep it vegetarian and instead of simmering it in a pot, cooked it in my instapot pressure cooker on the soup setting! My husband liked it and he’s very picky about both soups and orange vegetables / squash… so I call it a win. Can’t wait to have the leftovers tomorrow as soup is always better the next day once the flavors settle.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Heidi

    This soup is amazing, easy and delicious! I put my squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes (the whole squash was only 3 pounds)….this makes it easier to cut. I also use either veggie broth or homemade shrimp broth. I don’t have an immersion blender, so after cooling, I blended it in batches using my Nutri Bullet. Otherwise, followed the recipe exactly. It’s creamy without any dairy….don’t miss out on this DELICOUS soup. Even better on day 2!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Farid

    Hallelujah… HALLELUJAH !!!

    First off: I’m an English teacher in a rural area in Hokkaido, Japan. The kabocha was given to me as a gift, by one of the schoolchildren’s parents who are farmers. All my coworkers got one as well. I actually got two. (The perks of being a foreigner in small-town Japan!) So I in turn gifted one to a fellow Canadian friend and kept the other.

    I kept putting this off but I finally got around to it today after two weeks. I worked in the kitchen for over 3 hours. Now, granted, I had to pause and go get more cumin from the store in the middle of cooking, so subtract 30 minutes for that. And I do generally tend to work more slowly than the average person in the kitchen. I’m not very experienced. Also, I haven’t cooked a PROPER meal in a while. And I haven’t followed a NEW recipe in a much LONGER while… So I took my sweet time, making sure I followed this recipe almost to a T. I over-roasted the kabocha a little bit and had to scrape off the burned parts. Other than that it went without a hitch. But anyway, I digress… The result… None of what follows is exaggerated in the least. Believe you me:

    The first time it touched my tongue, my eyes widened in sheer disbelief. I paused and taste-tested again, this time more carefully… I gasped “WHAT?!”, reached out for a third teaspoonful and this time I basically choked up and ALMOST shed a tear of joy!! Not only is this the best dish I’ve made, but also, beyond a speck of doubt, this is the absolute most delicious soup I have EVER tasted, period.

    I can only think of 3 possible explanations for how this could even be possible:
    1. The most likely explanation: DARK MAGIC!!! (lol)
    2. The least likely explanation: I have a hidden talent that is buried deep and is waiting to be awakened!!
    3. The simplest explanation: If you expend enough care, time and attention, following a GOOD recipe, well, let’s just say the results… may surprise you!

    Thank you, Ms. Elise Bauer. Thank you, the Internet. Thank you, kabocha pumpkins. Thank you, mother earth. Thank you, my student’s farmer parents.

    Oops, I almost forgot: Thank you, me!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
View More
Roasted Kabocha Squash SoupRoasted Kabocha Squash Soup