I am so excited to share one of my favorite Japanese recipes with you today. Kabocha Soup (Japanese Pumpkin Soup) is a delicious and easy soup that can be made in minutes! This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and I hope it will become your family’s new tradition as well! This kabocha soup is sweet and savory at the same time. It’s unlike any other kind of pumpkin soup you have ever made. The flavours burst by the spoonful!
Kabocha soup is a delicious Japanese pumpkin soup that’s perfect for autumn. It can be served hot or cold!
Why You Will Love This Japanese Pumpkin Soup
Japanese pumpkins, called “kabocha”, are very dense and have a semi-sweet flavour like a combination of chestnuts and purple sweet potato, which makes this pumpkin soup so delicious! Japanese pumpkin soup is perfect for chilly nights when you want to get snuggly and warm and it goes perfectly with some crusty baguette.
What Is Kobocha Soup?
Kabocha is a type of Japanese pumpkin.
I love pumpkin soup… but only when it’s made with kabocha. Unfortunately, this Japanese squash isn’t very common in Australia and it can be quite tricky to find.
Luckily, a couple of Sundays ago when we went to the organic market to enjoy our weekly soy mocha treat and get some veggies and fruits, I found it! There were about 5 pumpkins that looked like kabocha to me, but the stall’s vegetable grower wasn’t actually sure what type of pumpkin it was. So, we just bought half of one and when I got home and cooked it, it turned out to be kabocha squash!
I was so excited and wished I had bought more. So, last Sunday, we went back and bought some more and I got to make my favourite Japanese pumpkin soup!
Apparently, they call kabocha “Gem Squash” at the market but Coles (grocery store in Australia) used to sell them too and they always labeled it “Kabocha”. Hopefully, the markets will always have kabocha but just in case they don’t, I have decided to keep the seeds and I’m going to grow them in my little backyard veggie patch and try to grow them myself.
I hope it will grow well because usually my vegetables get eaten by possums or bugs so I never get to harvest anything. Fingers crossed! Then, I’ll be able to make Kabocha soup whenever I want.
Ingredients Needed To Make Japanese Pumpkin Soup
There are only 8 simple ingredients in this rich and creamy soup. Here is a little more information about what I used to make it.
In addition to the kobacha, I used an entire onion and half of a carrot. You can use more carrots if you want, but I didn’t want it to overpower the pumpkin’s flavor.
Make sure you use chicken stock and not chicken broth. Chicken stock has a thicker mouth feel and will enhance the texture of the soup.
If you don’t have chicken stock, you can use vegetable stock as a quick replacement.
Cream and Butter
These dairy ingredients sweeten the soup and make it taste even richer. Use cooking cream, milk, and butter. This will help make the pumpkin soup extra creamy.
You don’t have to use bacon rashers – any thickness will do fine. Thinly-sliced bacon is the best, but it doesn’t actually matter either way. The smokiness of the bacon pairs beautifully with the sweet creaminess of the kabocha squash.
How To Make Kabocha Soup
If you have ever made a creamy soup before, then this will be really simple. It’s even easy to learn for beginning cooks!
All the exact steps are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. I just want to share a quick overview of it, along with some helpful tips.
Prepare The Produce
The very first step is to peel the pumpkin and cut it into small chunks. Do the same with the onion and carrot.
Sauté Produce With Bacon And Butter
This part smells so good! Heat some butter in a skillet and saute the onion, carrots, and bacon. After the onion caramelizes, add the pumpkin.
Cook With Chicken Stock
Next, add the chicken stock. Then, cook this for about 20 minutes over low heat and remove the scum that rises to the surface. This is going to help your soup become nice and creamy.
Puree The Soup
Either use an electric mixer, immersion blender, or food processor for this step. Blend the soup mixture until everything is nice and smooth.
Add The Milk and Cream
Save this step for last. This way, you just add the milk and cream right before you serve it and the cream won’t burn.
What To Serve With Japanese Pumpkin Soup
This soup tastes amazing with a loaf of crusty bread to dip into it! You can actually serve other kabocha recipes with it. Simmered kabocha squash is soft and slightly sweet. Japanese kabocha bread has lots of the same flavors in it too. Or, enjoy it as mashed kabocha salad.
I also really enjoy tempura kabocha too!
Before we get to the Japanese pumpkin soup at the bottom of this post, here are some questions people often ask about it.
How do you store leftover soup?
Since this is a soup, I like to store it in a mason jar because the lid seals really well – it’s spillproof this way. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can you freeze kabocha soup?
Yes, this is a freezer-friendly soup. Store it in a freezer-safe container. It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Where can I buy kabocha?
If you live in the USA, you can look for Japanese pumpkins at Trader Joe’s and Walmart.
In Australia, supermarkets used to stock them from New Zealand. It is also available from selected farmer’s markets.
Can I use orange pumpkins instead?
Yes, you can replace the kabocha with regular orange pumpkin or even butternut squash if that is what you have.
If you enjoyed this Japanese pumpkin soup recipe, here are some more soup recipes you might want to try next. They are some of my favorites.
- Japanese Miso Soup
- Ozoni -Japanese New Year Mochi Soup
- Basic Ramen Broth
- Egg Drop Soup
- Japanese Clear Soup
I can’t wait until it’s a bit colder in Australia so I can make this more often because I love it so much! Kabocha makes the best pumpkin soup because it has that sweet nutty taste because of its chestnut and sweet potato mixed flavour.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and try out this Japanese pumpkin soup!
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Japanese pumpkin soup (Kabocha Soup)
- 800 g Kabocha seeded and peeled
- 750 ml of chicken stock
- 125 ml milk
- 125 ml cooking cream
- 3 slices of bacon rashers
- 1 large onion
- Half a carrot
- 30 g butter
- Peel the kabocha and cut it into small chunks.
- Cut the bacon, onion and carrot into small pieces as well.
- In a large pot, heat some butter on low heat then add the onion, carrots, and bacon.
- Cook until the onion has caramelised then add the kabocha.
- Add the chicken stock and cook for about 20 minutes over low heat, occasionally removing the scum on the surface.
- With an electric hand mixer, blend the soup mixture until the kabocha is smooth.
- Add the milk and cream and once they have warmed, remove from the heat.
- Serve with some bread or croutons!