This kabocha soup is creamy, satisfying, and made with just 7 plant-based ingredients. Gluten-free, oil-free, and packed with nutrients!
I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that kabocha is not my favorite vegetable, not even in my top 10 list. I rarely buy it and have very few ways of cooking with it, but I know it’s packed with nutrients and is very common in Japanese cooking, so I’m trying to branch out. I don’t actively avoid eating kabocha anymore, and if it’s on the dinner table I’ll usually eat a piece or two — but it’s still not my favorite. I’d rather eat a sweet potato. That being said though, I’d take this kabocha soup over a sweet potato any day. Kabocha soup is my favorite way to cook kabocha right now, and it’s probably one of my top 3 favorite soups (along with curry udon and spicy miso ramen). It makes the soup so creamy and filling, with a light sweetness to it that just rounds it out so well. Plus this soup is super easy to make, with just 7 simple ingredients and one pot! Let’s get into it:
To start, we’ll gather up 7 plant-based ingredients:
- celery leaves
- bay leaf
- vegetable broth
- coconut milk/soy milk
You’ll also need pantry staples like salt and pepper to season. I garnished my soups with cilantro and pumpkin/kabocha seeds, but that’s optional and my boyfriend actually preferred the soup without any garnishes.
This kabocha soup is so easy to make and only requires a few steps:
- Cut the kabocha in half and scoop out the seeds. Chop into small-ish pieces so they cook faster. Make sure you peel the skin off too, otherwise your soup with turn out green.
- Saute kabocha, carrots, and onion for a few minutes until onions turn translucent. Add celery leaves and cook another minute or so until wilted.
- Add the bay leaf and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer until the kabocha and carrots are soft. Turn off the heat.
- Take the bay leaf out of the pot, then puree the soup with an immersion blender.
- Stir in coconut milk or soy milk until evenly combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve while still warm.
TIPS & TRICKS
- When peeling the kabocha, I find it easiest to first chop the kabocha into pieces, then slice the skin off each individual piece. It’s a little time-consuming, but kabocha is very hard so be careful not to cut yourself.
- This recipe is quite versatile so feel free to switch up the veggies. I do recommend leaving in the onion and carrots, but you can omit the celery leaves and add leeks or green onion instead. I think some garlic and ginger could also create nice flavors in this, as well as some curry powder for a curried kabocha soup, or red pepper flakes to make it a little spicy.
- If you use soy milk, make sure you don’t boil the soup with soy milk in it or it will curdle.
- This soup is a great way to use up old or unripe kabocha, so don’t worry about needing a perfectly ripe kabocha (but of course will taste even better with a good dark yellow kabocha).
- As previously mentioned, you can leave out the celery leaves or swap them for leeks or green onion.
- Feel free to use any other plant-based milk in this recipe, though I prefer the creaminess that the higher-fat coconut milk and soy milk offer. I have also used soaked cashews and water in place of the milk, and that is also tasty!
- A large pot for cooking and blending all the ingredients in.
- An immersion blender for easily blending all the ingredients in the same pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the ingredients to a blender (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender) and blend on high until smooth, then pour back into the pot.
Check out these other warm & comforting soups and stews:
- Spicy Miso Ramen
- Curry Udon
- Quinoa Jambalaya
- Peanut Miso Soup
- Sesame Miso Soup
- Peanut Butter Miso Curry Soup
- Shortcut Hayashi Rice
If you try out this kabocha soup, be sure to tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking and/or leave a comment down below and let me know how you liked it! I love seeing all of your tasty recreations 🙂 Happy cooking!
Creamy Kabocha Soup
- 1 ½ lb kabocha squash
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- ½ onion chopped
- ½ cup celery leaves loosely packed
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup coconut or soy milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil optional
- cilantro leaves or parsley
- pumpkin seeds
- Cut the kabocha in half and scoop out the seeds and the hairy part on the inside. Chop the kabocha into pieces and slice off the green skin.
- Add olive oil or water to a large pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the kabocha, carrots, and onion and sauté until onions start to turn translucent. Add in celery leaves and cook another minute or so until wilted. Add a splash of water if needed to prevent sticking to the pan.
- Add vegetable broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil, then lower to simmer until the kabocha is soft, about 15 minutes. Check by inserting a skewer into the kabocha. When it pierces through easily, turn off the heat.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.
- Stir in plant milk, then add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings to taste. Reheat the soup if it's too cold, but do not bring it to a boil. Garnish as desired and serve while still warm.
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