The Best Kabocha Squash Soup

butterfly Serves: 15-16 (2-3 ounce) hors d’oeuvres

Written By Eydie Desser


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Seriously, this is everyone’s favorite soup–a recipe inspired by my chef mentor, Alfred Portale.  I “Garden of Eydie-it”:  subbing out with Garden of Eydie Earthy Vegetable Stock with Mushrooms, for chicken stock, and cooking without oil or salt.  When I first made this soup, I followed the recipe to a “T” but I promise you, giving it the “Eydie treatment” made it healthier and did not alter the flavor one iota!  The spices are unique and make for an amazing combination and flavor. 

Equipment needed: Blender, shooters or small cups


For the Soup:
  • ½ medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about ⅔ cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped  (about ⅓ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, ground in a spice grinder
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 large kabocha squash ( 5 pounds), or 2 smaller ones  (about 2-1/2 pounds each), peeled, seeded and diced into 2-inch pieces (see Cook’s notes below)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 quart Earthy Vegetable Stock with Mushrooms
Garnishes for Serving:
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, seeded and diced very small (⅛” dice)
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives


Make the Soup:
    1. Place a large (5-qt) heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add onions and celery to the dry, heated pot, and sauté until translucent, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the ground fenugreek, ginger, garlic, and cloves and sauté for 1 minute more to toast the spices.  Add a tablespoon or 2 of vegetable stock to help the spices meld with the onion/celery/spice mixture.
    2. Add squash and stir to combine with the spices.  Add stock and season lightly with pepper.  Raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil, then cover, lower the heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
    3. Working in batches, place some of the solids and liquid in a high speed blender, filling the container no more than half full,  and process until smooth.  Pour soup into a large container, and continue adding more solids and more liquid to the blender, processing until smooth.  Repeat if necessary.
    4. Pour the blended soup back into the pot, and rewarm before serving.
To Serve:

Ladle the soup into warmed wide, shallow bowls, or for an hors d’oeuvre, ladle into small cups or shooters.  Garnish each serving with a scattering of apple, pumpkin seeds and chives.

butterfly Cook's Notes:

How to peel the squash: 

The easiest and fastest way to peel the very tough skin on the kabocha squash is to place it in a microwave. For one large 5 pound squash, microwave  for about 5 minutes. Be sure to use a dry towel when removing the squash as it will be very hot.  Pierce with a knife to see if the skin has softened.  If not, microwave for a minute more.  If using 2 smaller squash, microwave one at a time for about 3 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a knife. Cut in half and remove the seeds.  

Alternately, place the squash in a 350℉ for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is easily pierced with  knife.  Carefully remove from the oven and let cool before peeling.

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