Curried Kabocha Squash Soup is so stupid-easy to make with only five ingredients, and it’s the perfect way to celebrate my favorite fall squash.
Kabocha — also called “pumpkin” in other parts of the world — tastes like a mash-up between butternut squash and sweet potato. It looks incredibly similar to buttercup squash although the taste is a bit different. It’s wonderfully tasty with a thin, edible skin, and it really shines when roasted. It’s recognizable by it’s mottled dark green skin and round shape.
Usually, I just slice it into semicircles and roast it in the oven. (The seeds are delicious roasted, too.) This time, though, I made a simple soup that’s the perfect accompaniment to any fall dinner. I think it’d pair really well with a basic roasted chicken and a green salad. If you can’t find kabocha squash in your market, butternut makes a very good substitute.
I used hot curry powder for this recipe, but if you only have mild curry powder, you could sprinkle in a few pinches of cayenne pepper to taste. Always add a little, taste, then decide if you want to add more. Cooking according to your own palate is really important, and you can start to train yourself by practicing with spices and seasonings.
Recipes are a great place to start if you’re trying to learn a new cooking method, but most of what you whip up in the kitchen comes with rough guidelines instead of strict rules. (Baking is another story. It’s got to be very precise so measuring is crucial.) A successful dish, like this Curried Kabocha Squash Soup, should have a balance of key flavors – sweet from the squash, salty, and spicy from the curry powder – as well as a good mouth-feel provided by the addition of fat (coconut milk).
When you start to recognize those flavors, you’ll realize you can start making substitutions. For example, you can use other types of hard winter squash because they tend to have a sweet flavor that intensifies when you roast them. Or try adding a little extra pepper or some ground ginger if you like it a bit more spicy.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (204C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Cut the bottom and top off the squash, then carefully cut it in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds (you can save them and roast them separately). Cut the squash into a few large chunks. Drizzle with the coconut oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 45-55 minutes or until it's tender and browned. You may want to flip the pieces halfway through cooking.
- Let the squash cool, and scoop the flesh away from the skin.
- Put the squash flesh into a high-powered blender along with the chicken broth, coconut milk, and curry powder. Blend for at least 15 seconds or until completely smooth.
- Pour into a medium pot to reheat, and adjust the seasoning with salt.
Substitute butternut squash instead of kabocha.
This soup freezes well.
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