Curried Kabocha Squash Soup
This roasted kabocha squash soup is made with coconut milk, curry powder, and smoked paprika. It’s smooth, creamy, and oh-so-nourishing on a cool evening. Recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
I was first introduced to the wonders of kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) last fall. With the first bite, I was so pleasantly surprised by the almost chestnut-like flavour and smooth texture of the squash. It reminded me a bit of my other love, Japanese sweet potatoes. I suppose I am truly a fan of Japanese winter veggies!!
This fall, I wanted to try roasted kabocha squash in a soup form. It’s tender mouthfeel truly lends itself to this creamy, kabocha soup recipe. To add even more warmth and flavour, this soup is seasoned with spices like curry powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, and smoked paprika.
What is kabocha squash?
Kabocha, also known as Japanese pumpkin, is a type of winter squash.
It’s shaped like a short pumpkin, with dark green skin. On the inside, you will find a vibrant orange flesh.
What does kabocha taste like?
Kabocha squash is thought to be slightly sweeter than butternut squash. People describe it as being a cross between a pumpkin and sweet potato.
I find that kabocha has a real chestnut-like flavour. It’s texture is smooth, rich, and less fleshy than other squash varieties. It is truly a delight to eat!
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Visual guide: how to make kabocha squash soup
The hardest part of making this kabocha squash soup is cutting the squash itself. It’s not too bad though – don’t be intimidated!!
I advise having a large, sharp chef’s knife, a large cutting board, and a dishcloth to help you push down on the knife.
Once you’ve cut the squash (particularly that first cut), the rest of this recipe is much easier 🙂
STEP 1: Start by cutting the kabocha squash in half, as shown above. Remove the seeds and flesh using a spoon.
STEP 2: Then, cut each half of the squash into halves again. From there, you can cut the squash into roughly 1-inch thick half moon shapes.
STEP 3: Once all the squash is cut, place the pieces of squash on a lined baking sheet. Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange tossed squash in a single layer.
STEP 4: Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, until the squash is browned and pierces easily with a fork or knife.
STEP 5: Allow the squash to cool a little bit, then remove the flesh from the skin. Sometimes the skin slides off really easily with just your hands, but you can use a fork and knife to help you along.
STEP 6: Next, heat olive oil in a large pot. Add your sliced shallots, garlic, and spices (curry powder, smoked paprika, ground ginger, and cinnamon) and sauté for a few minutes.
STEP 7: Add the roasted squash flesh to the pot!
STEP 8: Then, pour in your veggie broth and coconut milk. Bring everything to a gentle boil to ensure the soup is hot. You’ll also want to season generously with salt and pepper.
STEP 9: Blend the soup with a handheld immersion blender, or transfer to a large blender (working in batches if needed).
STEP 10: Adjust seasonings to taste. If you want your soup to be thinner, you’re welcome to add more veggie broth.
Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Blender used to make this soup
I’m so happy with my decision to do so – it has the same high power of the regular Vitamix, but it’s SO handy for making soup. You can do it right in the pot – no need to transfer everything in batches to the large blender! I love that it saves you time and results in less cleanup.
You can make this recipe with either type of blender, but I just wanted to share my experience here in case you were looking to invest in an immersion blender, too 🙂
Kabocha squash nutrition benefits
As evidenced by its vibrant orange flesh, kabocha is rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant.
Kabocha squash is also a source of:
- dietary fiber
- vitamin C
More healthy soup recipes
- Vegetarian Lasagna Soup
- Creamy Vegan Miso Mushroom Soup
- Canned Pumpkin & Carrot Soup
- Vegan Potato & Zucchini Soup
Did you give this Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!
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Get the Recipe: Curried Kabocha Squash Soup With Coconut Milk
- Approx. 4 pound kabocha squash
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- Salt + pepper
- 1 small shallot
- 3-4 large cloves garlic
- 1.5 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 can coconut milk (400 ml or 13.5 fl oz.)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- To serve (optional): chopped parsley, lime wedge, crusty bread, etc.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet (you may need to use 1 or 2 sheets, depending on how large your oven/sheets are!)
- CUT SQUASH: Cut kabocha squash in half, removing the stem. Remove the seeds and flesh using a spoon. Cut each half of the squash into halves again. From there, you can cut the squash into roughly 1-inch thick half moon shapes.
- ROAST SQUASH: Place the pieces of squash on a lined baking sheet. Toss in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange squash in a single layer, then place in oven. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the squash is browned and pierces easily with a fork or knife.
- PREP OTHER INGREDIENTS: While the squash roasts, you can prep the remainder of the ingredients to maximize time! Slice both the shallot and garlic into thin pieces. Measure out the spices and broth.
- REMOVE SQUASH SKIN: Remove squash from oven and allow to cool a little bit. Carefully remove the flesh from the skin. Sometimes the skin slides off really easily, but you can use a fork and knife to help you along. Place flesh in a bowl.
- MAKE SOUP: Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot to medium-high. Add your sliced shallots, garlic, and spices (curry powder, smoked paprika, ground ginger, and cinnamon) and sauté for a few minutes.
- Next, add the roasted squash flesh, veggie broth, and coconut milk. Bring everything to a gentle boil to ensure the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper (add accordingly if using a low sodium or regular veggie broth).
- SERVE: Serve into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lime (optional). Enjoy hot!
- Kabocha squash comes in an assortment of sizes. I recommend using a medium-sized squash for this recipe. It should weigh roughly 4 pounds (doesn’t have to be exact!!) Use the scale at your grocery store to check before purchasing.
- If a larger squash is all they have (i.e. 6 pounds), you can still make this soup. Simply add an extra cup of veggie broth and adjust seasonings as needed.
- If you’d prefer, you can also make this recipe with butternut squash! Simply peel the squash, remove seeds, cut into cubes, and roast in the oven for 30 mins. You can follow the remainder of the recipe as written.
- Leftovers will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Or, you can freeze this soup for 4-6 months.
- You can easily reheat the soup in the microwave or on the stovetop.
As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.
Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.