Creamy Vegan Kabocha Squash Soup with Fall Herbs

We've decidedly entered into soup season, and I'm very excited about it! I love everything about soup; it's comforting, nourishing, so cozy, and you can prepare a big pot and eat it all week. This Creamy Vegan Kabocha Squash Soup with Fall Herbs is probably the one I make most frequently all winter.

The real star here is kabocha squash, which in my opinion is the absolute best winter squash. Kabocha has such an incredible sweet flavor, and it's only subtly squashy (unlike some other types, like acorn, that are in-your-face squashy).

The other divine thing about kabocha is its texture, since it's unlike any other squash. Its flesh is very dense, not at all stringy, and can verge on chalky if it dries out. Because of that, kabocha makes the most divinely creamy soup. I can't speak highly enough about the thick, rich, luxurious, texture this kabocha squash soup has.

In terms of ingredients, this soup is actually quite minimalist, because it simply doesn't need anything else. It's all about the kabocha, which is roasted for maximum flavor. Just some caramelized onions, a bit of salt and pepper, and some classic fall herbs is all it needs.

This soup is a luxurious, cozy, wholesome bowl of fall goodness. It's wonderful as a main course (especially with fun toppings, see photos for ideas!) or as a side dish, and it reheats beautifully. It also freezes well, so stash some in your freezer and pull it out on a busy evening. 

One other tip. Leftovers of this soup are so fun! Obviously, you can reheat it and have another bowl of soup. But I also love to use the leftovers as a thick, rich sauce for a roasted veggie and grain bowl. That's the best thing about soup- it's like the gift that keeps on giving.

I probably make this soup every two weeks all winter long. I hope you will too! It makes for the perfect winter evening (alongside a bourbon cocktail, obviously).

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for another way to use my all-time favorite squash? Then try Kabocha Squash Soup Bowls, which use a squash bowl instead of a bread bowl for serving your favorite soup.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Two kabocha squashes. Or use red kuri squash, or one of each.
  • Oil of choice 
  • Two medium sweet onions
  • 4-6 c vegetable broth. This soup is so creamy and flavorful, water actually works totally fine here if you don't have broth on-hand. If you want to use broth, I suggest unsalted so that you can control the salt level. Unsweetened, unflavored almond milk will also work well, but isn't necessary.
  • Generous salt and black pepper
  • Couple sprigs of rosemary
  • Couple sprigs of sage
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme
  • Garnishes. Whatever you can dream up! Some ideas: balsamic reduction, feta or chevre, additional thyme leaves, roasted pumpkin seeds, pecans or walnuts, a swirl of unsweetened and unflavored yogurt, crusty bread, tomato slices.
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut each kabocha squash around its equator and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Roast the squash halves cut-side down on an oiled sheet tray (or two) for 30-45 minutes until very soft. Keep an eye on them, since they can vary greatly in size, which will determine how long they take to roast.
  4. When the squash is finished, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool at least partially for easier handling. This could be done the day before too.
  5. While the squash is roasting, dice the onions. Then cook them in a large soup pot until just barely caramelized, with liberal salt and pepper. Note that deeper caramelization will yield more flavor, but will also make your soup slightly darker in color, so do what works for you.
  6. When the onions are done, add ~4-5 c of liquid (either broth or water) and start bringing it to a boil. Add additional salt and pepper.
  7. Scoop out the inside flesh of the squash and add it to the soup pot. Note that you can eat the skin of a kabocha, and it's actually delicious, so please save it! My suggestion is to treat them like potato skins and load them with all your favorite toppings.
  8. Dice up a palmful of rosemary leaves and a palmful of sage leaves very finely and add them to the pot.
  9. Once everything has come to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  10. Next, turn the heat off the pot and blend it all with an immersion blender until a very thick, creamy soup develops. Note that a standard blender is fine here too, but you'll need to work in batches. The kabocha is soft enough that a high-power blender isn't necessary.
  11. After blending, strip the leaves off the thyme and add them. (I like to save them for the end since their flavor is more delicate).
  12. Assess the consistency of your soup. I like it to be rich and thick, but still soup-like. If you want it to be a little looser, add more liquid until you get to your desired consistency. 
  13. Taste your soup and adjust as you see fit. Maybe some additional salt and pepper? Additional herbs? If you think it needs more zing, try a little dash of cider vinegar.
  14. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes after blending.
  15. Serve in big, steaming bowls and garnish as you see fit!


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