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Kabocha Soup かぼちゃスープ

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    Delicious Kabocha Soup with just a few simple ingredients. Enjoy this rich and creamy soup by dipping with your favorite bread.

    Mug cups containing kabocha soup served on a wooden tray.

    The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to fall. Fall has arrived and that means pumpkin and squash season upon us! Fall is my favorite season and I especially love all kinds of seasonal ingredients only available this time of the year in Japan. Kabocha, Matsutake mushrooms, chestnuts, Sanma (pacific saury), just to mention a few.

    Watch How to Make Kabocha Soup かぼちゃスープの作り方

    Delicious fall season soup with just a few simple ingredients. Enjoy this rich and smooth Kabocha Soup dipping with your favorite bread.

    What’s Kabocha?

    Kabocha Squash Pumpkin on a table.

    Kabocha is an Asian variety of winter squash. Japanese simply call it Kabocha (南瓜、かぼちゃ、カボチャ) and the word kabocha refers to all kinds of pumpkins in Japan. In Australia and New Zealand, kabocha is commonly called Japanese pumpkin and here in North America, we refer to it as Kabocha Squash or Kabocha.

    A white soup bowl containing kabocha soup.

    Kabocha has a dull-finished deep green skin (it’s edible!) and really bright yellow-orange color flesh on the inside. It has a naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash, and it’s often used for desserts and baked goods in Japan.

    Be forewarned, even though it doesn’t look it, kabocha is really hard. If you are going to cut it for the first time, please be careful with the knife. Keep your fingers away from the knife’s sharp edge.

    Mug cups containing kabocha soup served on a wooden tray.

    Kabocha has great health benefits!

    Kabocha doesn’t just look pretty and tastes good, it is also an excellent source of beta carotene which can be converted to vitamin A in the human body. Vitamin A is important for healthy white blood cells and good immunity. Kabocha is also a good source of iron, vitamin C and some B vitamins and it has lots of fiber!

    Over the past few years, I’ve seen kabocha available not just in Asian grocery stores, but they are also available at my local grocery stores during this season. If you love butternut squash and other vegetables similar to pumpkins, definitely try and make this easy soup recipe or other kabocha recipes.

    For this recipe, I removed the peel to get the nice intense yellow-orange color for the soup, but you could include the (totally-edible) skin as well so you don’t waste the food AND extra nutrition!

    Mug cups containing kabocha soup served on a wooden tray.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.35 from 43 votes
    Mug cups containing kabocha soup served on a wooden tray.
    Kabocha Soup
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    25 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins

    Delicious Kabocha Soup with just a few simple ingredients.  Enjoy this rich and creamy soup by dipping with your favorite bread.

    Course: Soup
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: creamy, pumpkin soup
    Servings: 4
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • ½ onion
    • 1.4 lb kabocha (squash/pumpkin) (640 g)
    • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (20 g) (See Notes)
    • 2 cups chicken broth (480 ml)
    • 1 ½ cups milk (350 ml) (I use whole milk)
    • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream (120 ml) (See Notes)
    • 2 tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • Parsley
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Kabocha Squash Soup Ingredients
    2. Thinly slice the onion.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 1
    3. Using a spoon, discard the seeds from the kabocha and cut into thin 6 wedges.

      Kabocha Squash Soup 2
    4. Remove the skin and cut into small equal size cubes.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 3
    5. Heat the butter over medium heat in a pot and cook the onion until soft and brown.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 4
    6. Add the kabocha and sauté to coat with butter.

      Kabocha Squash Soup 5
    7. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 6
    8. Using a skewer, insert into kabocha and check if it’s fully cooked.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 7
    9. Puree the soup in batches in blender or puree with a hand blender until smooth.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 11
    10. Add the milk and heavy cream and stir till combined and do not let the soup boil.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 8
    11. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir over moderately low heat until it is hot.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 9
    12. Ladle the squash soup into bowls, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
      Kabocha Squash Soup 10
    Recipe Notes

    Unsalted Butter: If you use regular salted butter, reduce the amount of kosher salt.


    Heavy Whipping Cream: You can make "lighter" version by replacing heavy cream with non-fat milk.


    Equipment you will need:


    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

    Editor’s Note: Original post was published on Oct 1, 2014.

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