Kabocha is an Asian variety of winter squash often referred to as the Japanese pumpkin. Several years ago, when I first saw it at the farmer’s market, my curiosity convinced me to buy the unusual squash even though I knew nothing about it.
It’s dark green exterior and round pumpkin shape make it look quite different from a butternut squash despite having the same orange colored interior flesh. Figuring it had to be similar to other winter squashes, I simply cut it in half and roasted it. Much to my surprise, it was amazingly good😋
Compared to butternut squash, Kabocha has a richer, more dense texture with a delectable even sweeter flavor. Needless to say, kabocha instantly became my favorite winter squash!
However, in spite of all it’s yummy goodness, the worst part about Kabocha is cutting it. The skin is extremely thick and can be difficult to pierce. So, sharpen your knife before preparing this squash delicacy. In the end, I promise, it is well worth the effort.
Top with spicy pumpkin seeds for an added burst of flavor and nutrition!
Kabocha Squash Soup
1 kabocha squash, cut in half, seeds scooped out
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
1 leek, sliced and rinsed well (about 1 cup)
2 cups broth, vegetable or bone broth
1/2- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh Ground Pepper
Roast squash. Cut squash in half at the stem. (Note: this is hard to do! So, I place the stem in the drain of my kitchen sink to hold it in place. Then using a sharp knife, slowly and carefully so you don’t cut yourself, slice in half. With a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard.)
In a baking pan, roast the squash flesh side down for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Poke with a fork or knife to test for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool. (Note: Can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days before making the soup.)
In a stock pot, over medium high heat, add ghee or coconut oil. Let melt, then add leek. Sauté leek for 5 minutes or until tender and translucent. Add spices and heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir in broth and cooked squash. Cook over medium low heat until heated through. Pour soup into high speed blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Or use an immersion blender and blend right in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in coconut milk for richer, creamer soup.