Kabocha Squash Soup

GFGluten FreeNFNut FreeOFOil FreeSFRefined Sugar FreeVVegan
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This Curry Kabocha Squash Soup is a hearty and cozy winter soup. Made in one pot with sweet kabocha squash, cilantro, curry powder, and coconut milk, its exciting Asian-inspired flavors will keep you coming back for more. Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Option.

This Vegan Kabocha Squash Soup is a welcome upgrade from your typical winter soup! Silky smooth and subtly sweet with an Asian-inspired twist, everything about it is cozy and delicious. Best of all, it’s easy to make with healthy ingredients in only one pot!

Table of Contents
  1. A Cozy & Nourishing Winter Soup
  2. Ingredients for Kabocha Squash Soup
  3. How to Make Curry Kabocha Squash Soup
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Japanese Pumpkin Soup
  6. Substitutions and Variations
  7. Recipe FAQs
  8. Curry Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
curry kabocha squash soup served in a white bowl and topped with fresh cilantro with a spoon dug in the bowl

A Cozy & Nourishing Winter Soup

When I need a break from the endless pumpkin recipes, I cozy up with this Curry Kabocha Squash Soup. It showcases the best that winter squash has to offer (just like my Butternut Squash Soup and my Vegan Pumpkin Chili) but changes things up a bit with sweet and nutty-tasting kabocha squash.

Kabocha squash, or Japanese pumpkin, is a type of winter squash just like butternut, acorn, and delicata squash. It has a vibrant orange flesh, dark green or red-orange skin, and a sweet, creamy flavor (it’s even sweeter than butternut squash!).

I pulled inspiration from Indian and Thai cuisine when making this cozy vegan soup. A whole bunch of cilantro gives the broth a pop of bright flavor, while curry powder infuses all kinds of warmth! Silky coconut milk is the perfect finishing touch, making every slurp feel luxurious and creamy. It’s like a hug-in-a-bowl!

Ingredients for Kabocha Squash Soup

This cozy soup is easy to make with wholesome ingredients and warm spices:

ingredients for curry kabocha squash soup laid out on a marble kitchen countertop
  • Kabocha squash: One of my favorite winter squashes, kabocha is kind of a mix between pumpkin and sweet potatoes with it’s vibrant orange flesh and sweet and nutty flavor. Fresh kabocha squash takes over farmer’s markets and grocery stores when it’s at its peak from late summer through early winter, though you can usually find it year-round at your local Asian market.
  • Aromatics: Sautéed yellow onion, garlic, and ginger lay the foundation for this savory soup.
  • Cilantro: Did you know you can use both the stems and leaves of fresh cilantro? They both add a bright, peppery, and almost citrus-like flavor. I like to use the stems for the broth and save the tender leaves for a colorful garnish.
  • Curry powder: Store-bought curry powder is made with a blend of Indian spices, like turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and more. I prefer to use salt-free curry powder but if yours contains salt, I recommend replacing half of the broth with water and adding additional salt to taste to have more control over the saltiness.
  • Coconut milk: A can of full-fat coconut milk is my go-to for thick and luxurious winter soups. If you prefer a lighter consistency, use light coconut milk.
  • Vegetable broth: Your favorite store-bought or homemade vegetable broth will be a perfect fit for this recipe. 

How to Make Curry Kabocha Squash Soup

side-by-side images of the cooking process of kabocha squash soup with the image on the left showing the diced kabocha squash and the image on the right showing aromatics and kabosha squash sauteéd in a pot
  1. Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds, and dice the flesh into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Warm oil in a large pot, then sauté the aromatics, cilantro stems, and curry powder until soft and fragrant. Stir the diced kabocha squash into the pot.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and some of the broth. Boil the soup, then lower the heat to a simmer until the squash is fork-tender.
  4. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the lime juice, then salt and pepper.
  5. Serve in bowls with cilantro leaves and a lime wedge on top. Enjoy!

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Kabocha squash is notoriously hard to cut. That’s why I recommend using your sharpest knife to cut it in half using a sawing motion. If it’s still too hard, microwave the whole squash for 1 to 2 minutes to soften it before slicing.
  • Use more broth to thin the consistency. This recipe begins with 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, yielding a thick and luxurious soup. If you like a more brothy soup, use the full 3 cups (or more) of broth instead.
  • Save the seeds! Just like pumpkin seeds, kabocha squash seeds can be roasted for a healthy snack! I’d recommend tossing them in a little olive oil and soy sauce before roasting for yummy Japanese-inspired flavors.
kabocha squash soup in a pot with a spoon stirring to show its texture

Serving Suggestions

This cozy soup is made cozier with a big hunk of crusty bread or vegan naan on the side to complement the Indian spices. It’s perfect for dunking and soaking up every last drop!

The Asian-inspired flavors in this meal help it pair nicely with this Fresh Thai-Inspired Salad, this Tofu Pineapple Curry, or this Rainbow Quinoa Salad when you’re craving a fresh and satisfying meal. It would also be a great addition to your vegan holiday menu since it’s so warm and cozy!

If you’re looking for more cozy winter soups to warm you up, you’ll also love this Feel-Good Red Lentil Soup, this Creamy Parsnip Soup, and this Smoky Sweet Potato Soup.

How to Store Japanese Pumpkin Soup

Transfer the cooled leftover kabocha soup into airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. The frozen soup should be placed in the fridge to thaw overnight before reheating.

To reheat, either warm the leftovers in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or pour them into a saucepan and heat over medium heat on the stove. If the consistency of the soup is too thick, stir in a splash of vegetable broth or water.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Coconut Milk Substitute: Cashew milk is a great substitute for coconut milk here (even better if you make your own cashew milk at home!).
  • Oil-Free Option: Instead of olive oil, sauté the aromatics in 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water or vegetable broth.
curry kabocha squash soup served in a white bowl and topped with fresh cilantro with a spoon dug in the bowl

Recipe FAQs

What does a kabocha squash taste like?

Kabocha squash is what you would get if you crossed a sweet potato and a pumpkin. It’s not quite as sweet as sweet potatoes but more so than pumpkin. When cooked, those sweet flavors are enhanced and it even takes on a subtle nuttiness as well.

Is kabocha a pumpkin or squash?

Even though it’s also called Japanese pumpkin, kabocha is actually a winter squash.

Can you roast the kabocha squash instead?

Absolutely! Roasted kabocha squash is insanely delicious since the heat of the oven caramelizes its natural sugars and brings out its hidden flavors. To roast the squash, cut it in half and brush the flesh with olive oil. Roast cut side down on a lined baking sheet at 400ºF until tender and slightly caramelized. Carefully scoop out the slightly cooled flesh and add it to the soup pot with the coconut milk and broth.

Can you eat the skin of kabocha squash?

Only if you want to. Kabocha skin becomes soft and silky when it’s cooked, making it easy to eat. I recommend scrubbing and washing the squash skin very well beforehand if you plan on eating it.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Curry Kabocha Squash Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
This Curry Kabocha Squash Soup is a hearty and cozy winter soup. Made in one pot with sweet kabocha squash, cilantro, curry powder, and coconut milk, its exciting Asian-inspired flavors will keep you coming back for more. Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Option.



  • Prep the Kabocha: Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the kabocha in half (I like to go just next to the stem). Use a spoon to scoop out the inner seeds and pulp and discard. Use a peeler or paring knife to peel the kabocha, then slice and cut into 1” pieces.
  • Aromatics: Warm the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, and curry powder; sauté for an additional minute, until fragrant. Add the kabocha squash to the pot and give everything a good stir, making sure to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Simmer: Pour the coconut milk and 2 1/2 cups of broth into the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. Add additional broth only if the soup gets too thick.
  • Blend: Turn the heat off and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, or transfer to a blender with a venting lid and blend until smooth and return to the pot. Add the juice of 1/2 of the lime (1 to 2 tablespoons) and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
  • Serve: Divide into serving bowls and garnish with the remaining fresh cilantro leaves and a lime wedge. Serve warm; leftovers can be store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

  • Curry Powder: Store-bought curry powder is a blend of spices. I prefer to use a salt-free curry powder, but if yours does contain salt I would replace half of the broth with water and add additional salt to taste, as necessary.
  • Coconut Milk: I suggest using full-fat coconut milk for a thick and luxurious texture, but you can also use light coconut milk for a thinner consistency. You can also swap out the coconut for cashew milk (even better if you make your own cashew milk at home!)
  • Oil-Free: Use 1/4 cup (60 ml) water or vegetables broth to sauté the aromatics in step 2.


Calories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 16mgPotassium: 319mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 4mg
Keyword: cozy vegan soup, curry kabocha squash soup, kabocha squash soup, squash soup recipes, vegan kabocha squash soup recipe
Course: Soup
Method: Stovetop
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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