This Kabocha Squash Soup is rich and velvety without the need for dairy. Jump to the recipe here, or read on and get the recipe at the bottom of this post.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I once bought a pair of pregnancy pants for the express purpose of wearing while eating. You would think I’d be more embarrassed to tell you that, but those pants were the comfiest I have ever owned, and part of me is still convinced it was a brilliant idea. Why should expecting mothers have all the fun of elastic waistbands?
Every year The Husband and I visit his family for the holidays, and it seems like every year the food is better than the last. His are a people that are not afraid of butter and carbs, which is not so much a complaint as it is a compliment. As a result, I have an increasingly harder time resisting filling my plate with seconds, or thirds. Oh, I couldn’t possibly find room for dessert… but okay, twist my arm why don’t you.
If you’ve been reading WCFF for any length of time, you know that I adore winter soups. They are stupid easy to make, delicious, and almost always healthy. This kabocha squash soup is all of those things, and the rich, creamy texture makes it feel super indulgent, while still being light and easy on the digestion. Basically, it is exactly what I need to break up the heaviness of all that holiday eating. After a few bowls, I almost don’t miss that pair of pregnancy pants.
For a long time, this roasted butternut squash soup with sage has held the title of my favorite winter soup — which is saying a lot, because I’ve made many soups and I love them all — but now it’s lost its spot at number one, because I just can’t get enough of this curry spiced kabocha squash number.
If you’ve never had a kabocha squash, then you’re in the same boat I was until very recently. They are a squat variety of pumpkin, with a dark green skin and bright orange flesh. The flavor is a little heartier than other squash, almost like a cross between a pumpkin and a sweet potato, and that drier, more potato-like texture makes for the most velvety soup. The sweetness of the squash and coconut milk are balanced beautifully by the heat of the curry powder, and with a little fresh cilantro or squeeze of lime to finish, you get what is quite possibly the most addictive bowl of soup I have ever met.
I’ve decided that squash and curry are like peanut butter and chocolate. Good on their own, better together.
This soup was inspired by this kabocha curry dish from my friend Carey of the blog Reclaiming Provincial. Her recipe called to me the moment I saw it, and after having the opportunity to taste it, I knew I needed more kabocha in my life.
If you can’t get your hands on a kabocha squash, you could substitute any other squash you like — sugar pumpkin, butternut, buttercup, or even sweet potatoes if you prefer them. However, I highly recommend trying to hunt down a kabocha if you can. They’re quickly becoming my favorite variety, and once I get past making batch after batch of this soup, I plan on experiment with other uses for them.
Those experiments will have to wait for 2016, though. Just a couple more days before the calendar turns over, meaning this will be my last recipe of 2015. I can’t think of a better note to end things on. Let’s just hope the new year is as delicious as the last.
- 1 large, or two smaller, kabocha squash (about 4 lbs)
- 2-3 TBSP olive oil, or coconut oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ - 2 tsp. curry powder, to taste*
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground corriander
- ½ tsp. freshly grated ginger (or ¼ tsp. ground ginger)
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- 4-6 cups vegetable stock or water, as needed
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk, plus more to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Wedges of lime, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the stem, and cut the squash into wedges. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides, and discard them. Place the wedges cut-side up onto a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with 1 TBSP olive or coconut oil, and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Roast the squash for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and let rest until it is cool enough to handle, then scoop the meat away from the flesh.
- In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion with 1-2 TBSP oil for 5-7 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and a pinch of salt, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.
- If you have an immersion blender, add the cooked squash and 4-5 cups vegetable stock or water, and puree until smooth, adding more liquid as needed to reach the desired consistency. OR, transfer the cooked onions, squash, and enough vegetable stock or water to blend, to an upright blender and puree until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Return to the pot and add additional liquid as needed to reach the desired consistency.
- You can add the coconut milk now, or reserve it for drizzling over the soup later (or add some now, and some later). Add salt to taste, and adjust the level of heat to your liking by adding more curry powder or more coconut milk if needed.
- Serve with fresh cilantro, and wedges of lime if you'd like a little acidity.
Soup will keep for about a week in the fridge, or can be frozen.