Bright orange flesh gives a beautiful color to this kabocha squash soup. With hints of apple and ginger, it’s a naturally sweet, comforting, gluten free, and vegan meal. Options for the stovetop and slow cooker included in this post.
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Even though your mind is probably focused on mashed potatoes, turkey, and pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow, this month’s Recipe Redux theme has me thinking about soups at the moment! Specifically, the Recipe Redux challenge for November was to come up with a fun twist on classic, comforting soup.
Being the vegetable lover/blogger that I am, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to try one of the more unique squashes that are in currently in season. That’s how I settled on kabocha squash as the base for my soup.
Then I added tart Granny Smith apples, zesty ginger, and apple cider, which proved to be wonderful companions to the sweet squash.
But before I even dive into the deets about this yummy soup, let’s talk about the interesting variety of squash I used to make it, shall we?
What is Kabocha Squash?
Kabocha squash is a type of winter squash also known as Japanese pumpkin. It typically has a dark green outer skin with a bright orange flesh. Many people compare its flavor and texture to sweet potatoes. When cooked, kabocha squash develops a velvety mouthfeel that can transform a dish into a smooth, decadent meal.
You can find kabocha squash in most areas during the fall and winter. Check out your local farmers markets or grocery stores to purchase one if you are interested in making this recipe. If the squash has speckles of gold and yellow on its skin, that means it’s ripe enough to cook.
By the way, if you are wondering how to pronounce kabocha, it’s ka-bach-a. I looked it up on YouTube!
Is Kabocha Squash Healthy?
Aside from having a delicious flavor and appealing texture, kabocha squash is loaded with beneficial nutrients. Like most foods with bright orange flesh, this squash has tons of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that converts to vitamin A in the body. Eating foods with these nutrients can improve vision, skin health, and immune strength.
Kabocha squash is also loaded with fiber and contains other vitamins and minerals. So, adding this Apple Ginger Kabocha Squash soup to your dinner or lunch will certainly give you a nutritious boost!
How to Make Kabocha Squash Soup – Stovetop and Slow Cooker Options
You can make this recipe in a large pot on the stove or in the slow cooker. I’ve outlined the steps for both of these options below (they’re very similar processes).
- Peel and quarter the squash. Use a sharp chef’s knife to slice it, because it can be difficult. Remove the seeds and dice into cubes.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for a few minutes before adding the squash, apples, and ginger.
- Pour in vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the squash is fork-tender.
- Remove the pot from heat. Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a high powered blender like the Vitamix. If you use a standing blender, just remember to leave a corner of the lid cracked to let steam escape and to not fill the blender all the way.
- Stir in the apple cider, garnish, and serve!
- Peel, quarter, and deseed the squash. Dice into cubes.
- Add the squash, onion, apples, ginger, and vegetable stock to a slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a high powered blender like the Vitamix.
- Stir in the apple cider before serving.
Serving and Storage Tips
I served this soup with some roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme sprigs, and they tasted great! Raw or sautéed diced apples would also be a great topping. Finally, you could finish it off with a swirl of Greek yogurt or coconut milk.
PS = I didn’t try roasting the kabocha seeds, but as far as I know you can do that just as you would with any other squash seed.
Store this soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for a few months. Thaw frozen soup before reheating on the stove or in the microwave.
More Soup Recipes
If you love kabocha squash soup, check out these other soups while you’re here:
- Butternut Squash and Pear Soup
- Carrot and Celery Soup with Thyme Pecan Crumble
- Celeriac and Apple Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments section! I love to hear from you.
Apple Ginger Kabocha Squash Soup
- Prepare the kabocha squash by peeling it with a vegetable peeler or knife, and slicing it in half and then in half again. Use a spoon to remove the seeds, and then dice the squash into ~1" cubes (they can be roughly chopped). You can discard the seeds or roast them for a snack or soup topping.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium hight heat. Add the onion and sauté for approximately 5 minutes before adding the squash, apples, and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender when touched with a fork.
- Remove the pot from heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a regular blender and purée the soup in batches.
- Stir in the apple cider after the soup is blended. Try a spoonful of the soup and add more ginger and/or apple cider to taste.
- Keep the soup warm on the stove until you serve it. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh thyme, a dollop of yogurt, more ginger, or diced apples. Enjoy!
Isn’t she gorgeous?! – Lizzie