Kabocha Squash Soup
An easy, creamy and delicious, vegan kabocha squash soup that’s ready in 30 minutes.
This rich and creamy soup is everything you want on a cold day. It’s healthy, perfectly seasoned, slightly sweet and packed with nutritious ingredients like garlic, ginger, onion and carrot.
Kabocha squash has a rich, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture when cooked which makes it perfect for soups like this one. Though the squash takes a bit of effort to prepare, once it’s chopped up the rest of the recipe is quick and easy.
This soup can be made on the stovetop or in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker. The recipe is written for the stovetop but the instructions for other methods are included below.
- Dietary Needs: Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free (contains coconut), can be made oil-free.
- Nutritional Features: Low in fat and calories, high in fibre.
- Perfectly seasoned, rich and creamy.
- Great for meal prep and freezes well.
Ingredient & Substitution Notes
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Squash: You’ll need 1 medium-sized kabocha squash or it can be substituted with butternut squash or pumpkin.
- Vegetable Broth: Any homemade or store-bought vegetable broth or bouillon powder/cubes works.
- Coconut Milk: Light or full-fat coconut milk both work. Use full-fat for a richer, creamier soup or light to reduce the fat and calories in the recipe.
- Miso Paste: This is optional but adds a lovely umami flavour to the soup. You can use white or yellow miso paste.
- Soy Sauce: For a gluten-free soup, be sure to swap this for gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for the complete written recipe. This section features step-by-step photos for a visual reference.
Step 1: Prepare the squash.
Cut the squash in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds. Cut each half into two pieces, then slice each piece into wedges and cut the skin off each piece. Kabocha squash skin is edible so it’s ok if you don’t get every little bit off.
Prepare the carrot, garlic, ginger and onion as well so you’re all ready to go.
Step 2: Add the carrot, onion, garlic and ginger to a soup pot with a cooking liquid, either water or oil. I used 2 tsp olive oil but you can use water or broth to keep the recipe oil-free.
Saute the veggies for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until softened.
Step 3: Stir in the cumin, curry powder, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper and cook for a few more minutes.
Step 4: Add the broth and squash and bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer lightly, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the squash is tender.
Step 5: Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. You can use an immersion blender right in the pot, if you prefer.
Quick Note: If you’re using a blender, be sure to let the steam escape while you blend.
Step 6: Pour the blended soup back into the pot and add the coconut milk, lime, soy sauce, miso paste and sugar, if using. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- To make this a Thai red curry squash soup, omit the cumin, curry powder, coriander and cayenne pepper and use 3 tbsp red curry paste instead.
- To make a roasted kabocha squash soup, roast the squash in halves or wedges then peel off the skin and add the cooked squash to the pot with the broth after sautéing the aromatics. Simmer for a few minutes, then blend and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- For an oil-free recipe, use water or broth to saute instead of oil.
- For a gluten-free recipe, use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- For a soy-free recipe, use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce and do not add the miso paste.
Yes, the kabocha skin is actually edible so you can leave it on if you like.
I prefer to remove it so the soup is a bright and beautiful orange colour.
This soup is great on its own and surprisingly filling but it can also be served with a hearty slice of bread or one of these recipes:
• Spicy Chickpea Wrap
• Curried Chickpea Quinoa Salad
• Roasted Chickpea Avocado Salad
• Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
• Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Option to saute the onion, ginger, garlic and carrot according to the recipe below, before adding them to the crockpot.
- Otherwise, add everthing up to the broth to your slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
- Transfer to a blender and process until creamy or use an immersion blender right in the pot.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!
Instant Pot Instructions
- Use the saute function to saute the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot for 3-4 minutes (for an even easier recipe, you can skip this and just add everything up to the broth and seal).
- Add the squash and and broth. Seal the Instant Pot and cook on High Pressure for 8 minutes.
- Carefully move the valve to Venting to quick release the pressure.
- Once the valve drops, remove the lid and proceed with the blending (either transfer to blender or use immersion blender).
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!
- Let cool before storing.
- Fridge: Store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge.
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- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, water or broth
- 4 cloves garlic, minced (16 g)
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger (12 g)
- 1 medium white onion, diced (300 g, approx. 2 cups)
- 2 cups peeled and chopped carrot (300 g)
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili flakes (omit if sensitive to heat)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 5 cups cubed kabocha squash, seeds and skin removed (about 1 medium-sized squash or 700 g)
- 5 cups vegetable broth (1250 ml)
- 1 14 oz can light or full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice (30 ml)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (15 ml)
- 1 tbsp white or yellow miso paste (optional, 15 g)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar (optional, 15 g)
- Prepare the squash before you begin. Cut it in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds. Cut each half into two large chunks then slice the chunks into wedges. Slice the skin off each wedge and chop the wedges into cubes.
- Prepare the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot as well so you’re ready to go.
- Heat your choice of cooking liquid in a soup pot over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, ginger, onion and carrot and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne or chili flakes, salt and pepper, stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the squash and broth. If needed, you can add additional broth after blending to adjust the consistency to your preference.
- Bring to a low boil then reduce the heat and simmer lightly, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes until the squash is fork tender.
- Either use an immersion blender in the pot to puree the soup or carefully transfer it to a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Be sure to allow the steam to escape while blending if you’re using a blender.
- Return the soup to the pot if you used a blender and mix in the coconut milk, lime, soy sauce, miso paste and sugar, if using.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.
Alternative Seasoning: For Thai red curry soup, omit the curry powder, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper and add 3 tbsp red curry paste instead.
Storing: Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 4 months. Reheat as needed on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated to your preference.
Nutrition facts are estimated using full-fat coconut milk. If you use light coconut milk instead of full-fat, it’s 115 calories per serving with 4F/18C/2P. This does not include the two optional ingredients though they add just a few calories per serving.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 194
- Sugar: 5 g
- Fat: 14 g
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 3 g
Keywords: kabocha squash soup, kabocha soup recipe
Originally published December 6, 2016.