How to Make Easy Kabocha Pumpkin Soup

Kabocha pumpkins (via
Kabocha pumpkins (via

If gnomes had the power to look like a vegetable, they’d be kabochas. These knobby-looking Japanese pumpkins are one of the fugliest things you’ll find at an Asian supermarket, but they taste like heaven on steroids. Naturally sweet, these  winter squashes give sweet potatoes a run for their money.

Buy one at the Asia World Market in Plano, if you don’t believe me. Fans of pumpkin, sweet potato, and squash soups should definitely try this easy peasy way to make the bombdiggiest dish you’ll ever find.

Making kabocha soup is so easy, I barely need to write out the instructions. The hardest part is cutting it open. Kabocha pumpkins are notoriously hard to crack. You either need a really sharp cleaver or a rice cooker. My mom likes to cook a whole kabocha pumpkin in the rice cooker with two to three cups of water so that it softens up. (It fits perfectly inside.) After the rice cooker dings, she’ll cut this winter squash into 1 inch cubes, skin included. Then she heats the pieces on the stove in a flat pan to make them even mushier.

After all that strenuous work, we put all the bits into a blender and blend. Once the soup develops this greenish-puke color,  it’s ready to eat.

At home, we like to eat the soup plain without anything added to it, because the pumpkin is so naturally sweet, savory, and thick at the same time. We don’t add a single dash of sugar, salt,or  pepper. If you’re inclined, though, you could add heavy cream, nuts, herbs—whatever your heart desires. Why not experiment? Before you know it, you’ll be making this soup again in no time.