This delicious red kabocha squash soup has layers of flavor with a porcini mushroom broth, a touch of goat cheese & chili pepper flakes.
Is there anything more comforting and heartwarming than a great bowl of soup on a cold day? As a kid, I didn't appreciate the power soup had on my soul. Now, as an adult, I find that it can be magical. Soup can feel like a hug if you need one, a bowl of happiness reassuring us all that the world is just fine, and we will survive it all.
Fall is an ideal time for soup. I especially like roasted squash soups and make them often. When I got a large red kabocha squash in my CSA box, I was intrigued. I had never tried red kabocha before and decided that a soup would be the perfect vehicle for it.
And that is how this roasted kabocha squash recipe was created.
What is red kabocha?
Red kabocha is like the queen of squash. It has a lovely sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash. It is similar in texture and flavor to a pumpkin and sweet potato combined. Some kabocha can taste like Russet potatoes or chestnuts. it is available all year but is best in late summer and early fall.
How to make this soup*
I combined the rich, velvety texture of the squash with an earthy porcini mushroom broth. This red kabocha squash soup develops layers of flavor enhanced with a touch of goat cheese, crispy porcini, and chili flakes on top.
*Detailed measurements as well as instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut into wedges. I add some extra virgin olive oil, seasonings, and fresh herbs, all over, then roast it in the oven.
Make a porcini mushroom broth for this kabocha recipe.
Dried porcini are a staple in my kitchen, they are so versatile, and I love their meaty, earthy flavor. I always have a bag handy. I love to add them to soups and other dishes. It is so easy to make the broth. Just soak the dried mushrooms in two cups of hot water for about 15 minutes. That's it.
Add the mushroom broth, the roasted squash, extra chicken or veggie broth, ½ cup heavy cream, and fresh herbs in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Everything gets blended smooth, and the soup is ready.
Crisp the plump and moist mushrooms in a pan with a little olive oil. They are a lovely addition and add a crispy texture. Also, sprinkle some creamy goat cheese for tanginess and a few chili pepper flakes for some heat.
This red kabocha squash soup is delicious and a real treat. Enjoy!
- You can substitute the red kabocha with regular green kabocha or the squash of your choice. Butternut squash will also work well in this recipe.
- If you are out of veggie or chicken broth, use water with a bouillon cube or a couple of drops of liquid aminos. Coconut aminos will work as well.
- A dollop of Greek yogurt can substitute for the goat cheese.
- Dried herbs are great when fresh ones are not available. Dried thyme and rosemary will work just fine in this soup as well as dried oregano and sage. If none available, any Italian or Greek seasoning mix will work just fine. Herbs de Provence will do as well.
- This tomato soup with feta & basil is an ideal partner to crusty bread.
- An easy and comforting soup is the traditional Greek chickpea lemon soup; it is delicious and humbly perfect.
- And the real winner is the lemon chicken soup, a classic Greek staple.
Red Kabocha Squash Soup
- 1 red kabocha squash about 3.5 cups when cut.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 rosemary sprigs
- 2-3 sage sprigs
- 2-3 thyme sprigs
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1.5 cups chicken broth You can use veggie broth if you prefer.
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 2-3 tbsp goat cheese crumbled Or more, it's up to you 🙂
- 1 tbsp red chilli pepper flakes
Roast the squash:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Use a heavy chef's knife or cleaver and cut the kabocha squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Continue cutting into a few large pieces. Make sure the squash is stable on your cutting board before you start to cut it.
- Carefully and slowly start removing the skin with your knife. (If it is too challenging, you can roast the squash for 20 min until it softens a bit and try again)
- Place the squash pieces in a bowl, add 2 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the thyme, sage and rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan. Add the squash on top and mix gently everything together. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast for 30 min. Uncover and roast for another 15 min or until squash is cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let it cool.
Prepare the porcini mushroom broth
- Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl. Fill with 2 cups of hot water and let them sit for 20 min.
- Remove mushrooms on a paper towel. Set broth aside.Dry the mushrooms as much as you can using a kitchen towel. Roughly cut them in small pieces.
- In a large pot, heat 2 tbs olive oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes, until edges are crispy. Remove from pot and set aside. You will use the mushrooms later for serving.
Make the soup
- In the same pot, add the squash, 1.5 cups of the mushroom broth, 1.5 cups of the chicken broth, 1 sprig of sage, rosemary and thyme. Simmer for about 20 min.
- Transfer the squash in a blender, and all the liquids. Discard the herb sprigs. It's ok if a few leaves are left over. Blend everythi till smooth. Add ½ cup heavy cream and blend again. Transfers blended soup to a medium pot.You can also use an immersion hand blender to blend the soup.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm in bowls with a sprinkle or two of goat cheese, 3-4 porcini mushroom pieces and a sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes. Enjoy!
- If it is too challenging to remove the squash rind, you can roast it for 20 min until it softens a bit and try again.