Spiced Kabocha Squash Soup

Spiced Kabocha Squash Soup
Will Budiaman


  •   One 2- to 3-pound kabocha or butternut squash
  • medium-sized carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • small leek, white part only, cut into 1-inch pieces (2/3 cup)
  • 4 Cups  low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 Tablespoons  ginger juice (from 2 thumb-sized pieces ginger, grated)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon  medium-aged light brown miso (shiro miso)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon  sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 Cup  olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons  pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish

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by Hiroko Shimbo

This spicy, slightly sweet, and richly textured soup is a wonderful addition to a Thanksgiving meal, but its warming satisfaction can be enjoyed throughout the fall and winter. Kabocha squash is loaded with nutrients, so much so that in Japan there is a saying: "Eating kabocha on the first day of winter keeps you from catching a cold." Because uncooked kabocha squash can be difficult to cut, I bake the whole squash, wrapped in aluminum foil, in the oven for about 1 ½ hours until very tender.

See all kabocha recipes.

Click here to see Cooking with Japanese Flavors Made Easy.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wrap the kabocha squash in aluminum foil. Put the squash in the oven and bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove the squash from the oven and carefully remove the foil. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon, removing as little pulp as possible. Scoop out the pulp into a large bowl and measure out 2 1/3 cups of cooked squash. Freeze any extra pulp for later use, and reserve ¼ cup of the green skin, julienned, for garnish.

Place the carrot, leek, and stock in a medium-sized pot, cover, and cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, for 25 minutes.

Working in 3 or 4 batches, transfer the broth and cooked vegetables along with the pulp of the squash to a blender or food processor, and purée until smooth.* Transfer the first puréed batch to a clean pot and repeat the process. In the last batch, add the ginger juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, miso, salt, and olive oil and process.

Before serving, gently reheat the soup and divide it into soup bowls. Add a tiny pinch of salt to each bowl, garnish each bowl with the julienned green squash skin and pumpkin seeds, and serve.


*Note: Be very cautious when puréeing hot liquids. If using a blender, remove the plug in the top and cover the hole with a thick kitchen towel that's folded over. Do not fill the blender or food processor more than half full.


Calories per serving:

288 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Fiber Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Sugar Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 58g 89%
  • Carbs 164g 55%
  • Saturated 8g 42%
  • Fiber 30g 118%
  • Sugars 33g
  • Monounsaturated 40g
  • Polyunsaturated 7g
  • Protein 17g 34%
  • Sodium 2,385mg 99%
  • Calcium 677mg 68%
  • Magnesium 458mg 114%
  • Potassium 4,539mg 130%
  • Iron 13mg 71%
  • Zinc 3mg 21%
  • Phosphorus 484mg 69%
  • Vitamin A 6,624µg 736%
  • Vitamin C 252mg 419%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 83%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 22%
  • Niacin (B3) 16mg 79%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 106%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 363µg 91%
  • Vitamin B12 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 25mg 125%
  • Vitamin K 103µg 129%
Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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