Curried Kabocha Squash Soup

This is my new favorite cold weather soup! 

Curried kabocha squash soup takes this delicious Winter pumpkin, roasts it (and toasts the seeds), and curries it into a smooth and creamy Autumn dream soup. 

The flavors of this roasted kabocha soup are incredible!

Why you will love this curried kabocha squash soup

If you are a squash and a Fall cuisine type of person, you are going to go head-over-heels for this pureed soup.  It’s full of flavors and we add texture by toasting the seeds for garnish. 

There is nothing bland or plain about this soup, in fact the curried flavors in this soup will dance in your mouth and leave you wanting more.

This soup is also healthy!  Ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper powder and garlic are all immune boosters and in combination with the kabocha squash, it will leave you feeling great!

Tips

When it comes to cutting up any kind of squash, whether it be butternut squash, acorn squash or kabocha squash, they are hard to cut up!  Safety and caution should be first and foremost when it comes to prepping squash.  I always prefer to heat my kabocha squash in the microwave for several minutes so that it’s easier to cut through.  

If it is not softened at all, it can be a little dangerous cutting them.  Don’t hurt yourself!  Soften it up in the microwave before cutting it into wedges. 

Ingredients

Kabocha squash is a type of pumpkin or squash that used to just be found in Asian and specialty grocery stores, but it has found its way into the limelight over the last decade or so.  In the Fall time it should be easy to find this at your local grocery store.  

Kabocha is a Japanese word that means squash or pumpkin and can sometimes refer to a winter pumpkin.  They are dark green on the outside and orange on the inside.  The color of kabocha on the inside reminds me of the color of cantaloupe.  It cooks like any other fruit in the pumpkin family, and it’s best to roast it first in order to soften it up before trying to remove the skin.  

What does kabocha taste like?  Kabocha is a firm squash or pumpkin that is slightly sweeter than butternut squash but still has an earthy aura to it along with some nutty undertones.  The flavor lies somewhere between a traditional pumpkin and a sweet potato, and when cooked and mashed, it takes on nearly the same texture as a mashed potato.  

While I use ginger garlic paste in this recipe since I always have it on hand (lots of Indian cooking around here), if you don’t have that , you can use fresh ginger and garlic instead. 

When it comes to the healthy benefits of kabocha squash, it seems like there are quite a few!  According to this article from WebMd, kabocha squash is full of antioxidants, vitamin A and vitamin C which can help maintain good cell health.  It also is great for maintaining a proper blood sugar level and can even help prevent skin cancer (awesome!). You can read more about kabocha health benefits in that article.  

These are the ingredients for curried kabocha squash soup:

  • Kabocha squash 
  • Onions (yellow and red)
  • Ginger garlic paste (or fresh ginger and garlic)
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Chicken stock
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin 
  • Coriander powder
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • Salt pepper
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Garam masala
  • Roasted Kabocha squash seeds, lime wedges and cilantro for garnish

How to make curried kabocha squash soup

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Kabocha can be tough to cut before it is cooked so we will begin by microwaving the kabocha squash for about 4 minutes.  This step is totally optional.  If you want to you can skip the microwave and just cut the kabocha squash into wedges with a sharp knife but do this cautiously!

After you have softened it in the microwave, take a large butcher’s knife or Santoku knife and cut it in half, then cut it into about 6 wedges.  With a spoon, remove the seeds and place them in a colander (we will work with these in a few minutes).  Place the kabocha wedges in a large baking pan or jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper and drizzle them with olive oil. 

Roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes or so.  The squash will become tender and will begin to brown.  Remove it from the oven and cut it from the skin and proceed to cut it into large cubes. Turn the oven down to 300°F.

In a large pot, heat several tablespoons of olive oil and add the diced yellow onions.  Sauté them for about 10 minutes or until they begin to brown. 

Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté it for about 1 more minute.  

 

Add the roasted kabocha squash and all of the spices, giving it a stir in the hot pan.  You’ll begin to smell how fragrant and delicious this curried roasted kabocha soup is becoming. 

Add the chicken stock and cover the pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. 

While the kabocha soup is simmering, rinse the kabocha seeds and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Toss the seeds with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, garlic powder and a dash of cayenne pepper powder.  Spread them in one layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until they begin to brown.

After the soup has cooked for about 30 minutes or so, check to make sure the kabocha squash is soft.  Remove the pot from the heat and carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender until it is smooth. Add ½ cup of heavy whipping cream and stir. 

Serve the soup while it is hot and garnish the top with finely diced red onions, chopped cilantro and the roasted kabocha seeds and a lime wedge on the side. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

I love to eat this soup with some fresh, homemade flatbread.  My 2 favorite recipes to go with this are either this parotta recipe (Indian flatbread) or this recipe for homemade Lebanese Pita bread

Don’t skimp on the toppings. This soup is meant to be spicy and flavorful so add plenty of red onions and cilantro.  You could even top it off with another drizzle of olive oil and a few dashes of cayenne pepper powder if you are feeling wild. 

Equipment

  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Immersion blender
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

FAQ’s

Should I cut the skin off the kabocha squash?

When making creamy kabocha squash, you do want to remove the skin before putting it in the soup.  It is easiest to remove the skin after roasting the kabocha squash in the oven. 

My kabocha soup is too thin, how do I thicken it up?

If after pureeing the soup and adding the whipping cream it is still too thin, take about ½ cup of the hot soup and mix it in a bowl with about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry.  Pour the slurry back into the soup and give it a stir and simmer it for another 5 minutes.  This should thicken the soup.

Curried Kabocha Squash Soup

Print Recipe
Course Soup
Keyword soup, squash
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Immersion blender
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1 medium kabocha squash about 3-4 pounds
  • Kabocha squash seeds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil separated
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Several dashes cayenne pepper powder if you like it spicy ¼ heaping teaspoon
  • Lime wedges garnish
  • ¼ red onion finely diced for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Heat the whole kabocha squash in the microwave for about 4 minutes to soften it up slightly.
  • Carefully cut the kabocha squash into 4-6 wedges and remove the seeds with a spoon, placing them in a colander for later. Place the wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Drizzle it with olive oil and roast it in the oven for about 30 minutes until the squash is more tender and begins to brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and cut the skin off and cube it. Lower the oven temperature to 300°F.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the diced yellow onions to the pot, sautéing them for about 10 minutes or until they begin to brown.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté it for one minute.
  • Add the kabocha squash into the pot along with all of the spices: salt, pepper, paprika, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander. Give it a stir and let it cook together for a minute then add the chicken stock.
  • Cover the pot and let it simmer for 30 minutes until the squash is very tender and the flavors have melded together.
  • While the soup is simmering, wash the kabocha seeds and pat them dry with a paper towel. Toss them in a small drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle some salt, paprika and a small amount of garlic powder over the top.
  • Spread it in one layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until they brown.
  • When the kabocha squash is tender and the soup is cooked, remove it from the heat and carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender.
  • Place it back over the heat and add the heavy whipping cream and heat it for another 5 minutes (don’t boil) with the lid off.
  • Serve the soup in bowls with fresh chopped cilantro, finely diced red onions and the roasted kabocha seeds on top for garnish. Serve lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!