What's for Dinner?: Kabocha Squash Soup

Sunday, Oct 21, 2012 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (7)

In an ideal world my kids would eat the exact same food as the grown-ups in our family. One dish, done!

Of course, the reality is somewhat different—not because the little ones are all mac and cheese and the adults are all salmon en croûte – but because I crave spice in my food that unfortunately, their blander palates find too much.

This Kabocha squash soup strikes the right balance of being child-friendly with an option to spice it up with toasted spicy pumpkin seeds as a garnish.

You could use butternut squash in this recipe but I saw these splendid Kabocha squash at the Farmer’s Market last week and could not resist them.

I also added my new favorite ingredient: smoked paprika – it elevates any dish with its smokey undertones.



Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
Ingredients – serves 8

For the Soup

  • 1 Kabocha squash (about 4lb) halved and seeded
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, use the white part finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

To garnish:

  • A generous handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika (smoked or otherwise)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • A dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream
  • Chopped fresh herbs – chives or parsley

First roast the squash in a pre-heated oven at 400°F.

Place squash on an oiled baking tray and roast squash cut side down. When cool enough to handle scrape the flesh away from the skin and discard the skin.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Fry the onion and leeks gently until they turn translucent. Then add the carrots and fry for a few more minutes until they start to soften slightly. At this point you can add the squash and garlic and fry for about a minute more.

Add the stock and water and season, adding the paprika.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes allowing the flavors to develop.

While the soup is simmering prepare the pumpkin seeds (see below.)

Using a blender puree the soup, adding more water if you think your soup is too think.

As always, use caution when blending hot liquids. Reheat if necessary before serving.

Toasted pumpkin seeds

In a small pan heat the seeds over a medium heat. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika, salt and cayenne. Keep the seeds moving in the pan so they don’t burn and heat for a few minutes until your kitchen is filled with a wonderful pungent aroma. If you make too many just store in an airtight container, they will last a few weeks.

Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on the soup with a generous dollop of sour cream of crème fraiche and fresh herbs.



  1. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  October 21, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    I love the idea of garnishing with toasted pumpkin seeds and sour cream. That alone makes me want to try this soup.

  2. POSTED BY Holly Korus  |  October 22, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    I like the idea of garnishing anything with salt.

    Kabocha that!

  3. POSTED BY mara  |  October 23, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    I’m officially addicted to smoked paprika now. The toasted pumpkin seeds are pretty amazing too!

  4. POSTED BY lisadavies  |  October 25, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    Mara – smoked paprika has magical powers

  5. POSTED BY wheelie07042  |  October 26, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    This soup was darn good…

  6. POSTED BY cherylamardys  |  February 09, 2013 @ 11:56 pm

    I made this soup for dinner tonight. The squash was so hard I was unable to cut it. I called my husband into the kitchen and asked him to cut it in half. He did so, reluctantly, and then commented, “if I never see another squash again, it will be too soon, and this smells like stinky pumpkin”. Then I served dinner.”This is the best soup I have had in 46 years (he is 46 years old) he says. Then he said it over and over again. I don’t ever remember receiving so many compliments during a meal. He especially loved the pumpkin seed and creme fraiche garnish and also added some red chili flakes. It was delicious. Only drawback was that my picky 11 year old didn’t like it. My husband said “good, more for me”.

  7. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  February 10, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

    I’ve never been let down by one of Lisa’a recipes. Delicious!

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