Savor the sweet tang of apple cider along with just a hint of warm ginger and cinnamon in this creamy and delicious kabocha squash soup.
Creamy squash bisques have got to be one of the best things about fall. Not that you have to reserve enjoying squash soup for fall, but the two go hand in hand. Just when the leaves start to turn color and the air is refreshingly (almost startlingly!) cooler, pumpkins, squash, apples, and apple cider hit the markets. And my mind turns to soup, more specifically, squash soup.
Stock up on squash this fall, along with lots of apples. We’ve combined the two for this delightful soup. You’ll love how the tangy apples and apple cider complement the sweetness of the squash.
There are so many varieties of squash available and one of my favorite winter squashes is kabocha. Maybe you’ve heard of Japanese pumpkins. They’re the exact same squash known by two different names.
To make things even more confusing, kabocha squash look very much like buttercup squash: round and dark green with faint stripes. Buttercup squash usually have a lighter green cap on the blossom end that kind of protrudes a bit. Both varieties are sweet and slightly dry in texture, and are pretty much interchangeable in recipes, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure which kind of squash you have.
And don’t worry if you have squash confusion and you discover you have a completely different variety! I’ve got you covered! With 17+ winter squash recipes AND the ultimate squash cooking guide, you’ll be able to cook any squash or pumpkin you happen to have.
So two things: Try this kabocha squash soup. We just love it and I’m sure you will too! And don’t confuse kabocha with kombucha!
About this kabocha squash soup:
This recipe begins with one kabocha squash, cooked and mashed. Not sure how to do that? Choose one of these three methods to cook a kabocha.
Tip: You can also peel and remove the seeds, chop the squash up, and cook it in the soup. This will increase cooking time because it will take longer for the squash to soften, but it’s still another good option!
Once you have the squash cooked, you’re ready to begin making the soup. It isn’t at all difficult. You’ll need a big pan, like a Dutch oven, and either an immersion blender or a regular blender.
Begin by sautéing chopped onions, celery, and apples. Yes, apples in soup! We recommend Honeycrisp or Gala but use whatever you have on hand. It’s amazing how much flavor the apples bequeath the soup, along with the apple cider (NOT apple cider vinegar) you’ll be adding soon.
Once the onions begin to soften and turn translucent, add broth (either vegetable or chicken work fine, but always choose low sodium or no-salt-added), apple cider or apple juice, and the mashed squash. Stir in a dash of ground ginger and cinnamon to ante up the flavor. Simmer until the veggies and apples are really nice and soft. It will take about half an hour.
Now it’s time to turn your soup into a velvety bisque! Oh, I can hardly wait — it’s soup magic! Use a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pan, or puree the soup (in batches) with a regular blender. Be very careful that the hot soup doesn’t splatter on you! If the soup seems too thick, stir in a little more cider or broth.
I can’t resist adding just a little half-and-half to this already really creamy soup! It’s just so good! Stir in a half cup. Not very much at all but, believe me, it’s just right. More than just right, it’s fantabulous! (And each generous serving of soup is still only around 200 calories.)
Serve kabocha squash soup garnished with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon. A swirl of yogurt or cream would be pretty, too. Maybe you’d like to fancy it up with pumpkin pie candied pepitas or spicy candied bourbon pecans. Bacon is never a bad idea on squash soup, either.
How to make kabocha squash soup your own:
Why mess with perfection? Just kidding, there are a couple of ways to make this squash soup recipe your own.
- For a vegan or non-dairy squash soup, either omit the half-and-half or make it with coconut milk instead.
- Use a different type of squash. Buttercup, butternut, or even pumpkin would be good choices.
- Instead of ground ginger and cinnamon, try your favorite curry powder.
- Try one of the squash soup recipes below!
Storage and Reheating Tips
Kabocha squash soup is just as good the next day and you’ll be looking forward to your next bowl! Store leftover soup in the fridge and reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Squash soup, anyone?
I love any kind of squash soup and we have lots of recipes for you to try:
- Copycat Panera Squash Soup Recipe — if you love Panera’s squash soup, you’ll want to try this one (plus, I’ve made it a bit more healthy, too!)
- Crockpot Pumpkin Soup (5 Ingredients!)
- Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon
- Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Paprika
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup — vegan
- Pumpkin Curry Soup (20 minute recipe!)
- Carrot Ginger Soup (okay, not squash, but I couldn’t resist!)
- 1 medium kabocha squash, cooked and cooled enough to handle (about 4 cups mashed cooked squash)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced small (¾ cup)
- 1 large Honeycrisp or Gala apple, diced (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups apple cider or apple juice (NOT apple cider vinegar)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup half & half
- In large pot, sauté onion, celery, apple, salt and pepper until onion is translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add squash, apple cider, broth, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30-35 minutes or until apples and celery are tender.
- Puree with a handheld immersion blender, or carefully blend in a blender in batches.
- Slowly stir in half & half.
- Serve immediately.
- Total cook time does not include cooking squash.
- Vegan/Non-Dairy: omit half & half, or substitute coconut milk.
- Try other varieties of squash including buttercup, butternut, or pumpkin.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.