Roasted squash soup is just the thing to keep you warm and cozy during the chilly autumn months. Made with kabocha (also known as Japanese pumpkin), coconut milk, and warming curry powder, it's perfect for lunch or dinner. This easy recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Roasted Squash Soup
Now that it’s the middle of October, we’re deep in the heart of pumpkin season! I like adding pumpkin to my meals, but not because I'm pumpkin spice crazy. I like cooking seasonally, and I really enjoy autumn, the only time when pumpkins and winter squash is in season.
For a twist on traditional pumpkin, I used a kabocha squash (a.k.a. Japanese pumpkin) in this soup. Kabocha tends to get overlooked in favor of butternut squash and pumpkin, but I think it's time for it to claim its own spot on the dinner table. With its strong, yet sweet flavor and moist, fluffy texture, it's one of my fall favorites. Roasting it before adding it this soup really brings out its sweetness.
What is Kabocha?
Kabocha squash is also Japanese pumpkin. You've probably seen it at the grocery store and thought it was a green pumpkin, because that's what it looks like. Chances are you've had it in Japanese restaurants in tempura or vegan rolls and thought it was sweet potato.
It's usually green on the outside and orange on the inside. Orange/red kabochas do exist too. That's what I used in these photos, because that's all I could find at the grocery store! Although it's rind is edible, it's not used in this recipe.
Kabocha has a sweet flavor – sweeter than butternut – and a velvety texture. It's similar to a sweet potato in both taste and texture.
Of course, you can use any other type of squash in this recipe if you can't find kabocha. If you're really pressed for time, you can use a can of butternut squash puree and skip the roasting step, but roasting it does give it a nice depth of flavor that the canned version just won't have. I will sometimes roast the squash a day or two ahead of time, and keep it in the fridge until I'm ready to make the soup.
How to Cut Squash
If your squash is a little tough and difficult to cut through, you can place it in your preheated over for about 10 minutes to soften it a little. You can also microwave it for two or three minutes.
- Cut your squash in half. I like to go through the center from the stem to the bottom, rather from side to side.
- Then scoop out the seeds and stringy bits in inside. I have a grapefruit spoon that I use to make it easy, but you can use any spoon to get it out.
- Then cut each half into cubes, about 1-inch in size.
How to Make Roasted Squash Soup
This recipe is easy to make!
- First you toss the squash with the vegetable oil and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. You roast it for about 40 minutes at 375°F. Be sure to toss your squash about halfway through so it's heated throughout.
- Next you heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium high heat. You add the onion, garlic, and ginger to the pot and cook them for about 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent and fragrant.
- Next you add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes to the pot. You give everything a stir and let it cook for about a minute. Add in the coconut milk, stock, almond butter and roasted squash to the pot and bring it to a light simmer. Cover your pot and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- You you remove the soup from the heat and puree with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until the soup has cooled slightly and puree in batches in a regular blender.
- Next you return the soup to the heat and stir in the sea salt and the lime juice. Cook it for another minute or two, to let all of the flavors combine.
- Finally, you ladle your soup into bowls and top each with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Curry powders are considered heresy in traditional Indian cooking, as chefs opt to grind and mix their own spices. Lazy cooks like me who have no desire to grind spices reach for the pre-made mixes.
The flavor of your finished dish will depend on the type of curry powder you are using. Some are sweet while others are hot. One of my favorites is Penzeys Curry which is not too hot. If you like a little kick to your soup, you can add more red pepper flakes.
Roasted Kabocha Soup
For the Roasted Squash
- 1 Medium kabocha squash
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Chop the squash into bite-sized pieces, removing the peel and seeds.
- Toss the squash with the vegetable oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion turns translucent and fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes to the pot. Give everything a stir and let it cook for about a minute. Add in the coconut milk, stock, almond butter and roasted squash. Bring to a light simmer. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the soup from the heat and puree with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until the soup has cooled slightly and puree in batches in a regular blender.
- Return the soup to the heat. Stir in the sea salt and the lime juice. Cook for another minute or two, to let all of the flavors combine.
- Ladle into bowls and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Originally post October 11, 2013. Updated October 17, 2021.
More Soup Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
More Squash Recipes You Might Like Include:
- Maple-Miso Glazed Squash
- Spaghetti Squash in Lemon Caper Sauce
- Coconut Curry Noodles and Butternut Squash from One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson
- Baked Butternut Squash Steaks