If you’re looking for a delicious, healthy plant-based soup to add to your menu, turn to this recipe for Easy Kabocha Squash Soup with Miso. Based on Japanese food traditions, including kabocha squash, miso, and tofu, this recipe is super easy to make, and it’s healthy, light, vegan, and gluten-free. All you have to do is microwave the pumpkin until it softens, then mix it with miso, ginger, and plant-based milk, and reheat until hot and bubbly. Then top with cubed tofu, green onions, and chili oil (if desired). So easy, and so great!
Although I am not a true expert on Japanese food traditions, I had the opportunity to visit this beautiful country, learn more about the food culture, and taste many regional dishes, including those featuring kabocha squash (see image below). It’s a memory I will never forget. Japan has a variety of beautiful, local vegetables that form an important part of the healthy, traditional Japanese diet, where people have one of the longest life expectancies of the developed world. These Japanese squashes are very prominent in Asian cooking, and I’ve loved them in my home cooking ever since. If you want to learn more about traditional Japanese diets, check out the dietitian’s work Mayuko Okay.
For this recipe, the Japanese cooking traditions of miso soup with tofu and Japanese squash come together to create gorgeous color and flavor. Best of all, the recipe only has 7 ingredients, and it’s pretty simple to prepare because fewer ingredients means easier cooking, which I’m all for! It is also filling and rich in nutrients. And I have to say it was very tasty – my family gave it a thumbs up. If you can’t find kabocha squash, feel free to substitute it with acorn, butternut, carnival, or delicata—any winter squash will do.
What is kabocha squash?
Well, if you’ve ever seen a lush, knobby squash at your farmers market or supermarket, you’ve just seen kabocha squash, a Japanese winter squash variety from the species Cucurbita maxima. With a deep green skin, and a bright orange flesh, kabocha squash (also called Japanese pumpkin) adds a lot of power to your menu. You can use this squash as you would any winter squash—it’s delicious roasted, mashed, and sliced into stir-fries. And it’s also particularly lovely in soups, like a nice, orange, creamy, pureed soup.
How to cook kabocha squash?
In this recipe, I recommend microwaving the kabocha squash after you chop it into sections, but you can also boil or roast it until tender.
Simply cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut into sections (with skins remaining). Then microwave in a dish with a little water for about 10 minutes, steam in a pot of water and cover for about 20 minutes, or roast with a little water in a baking dish for about 30 minutes—until tender.
What is miso?
Miso is a traditional Japanese food that is essentially a fermented paste made by inoculating a mixture of soybeans with a mold called koji. Miso can be used in many foods adding an umami flavor to foods and recipes. But it is especially good in soup. Is miso soup gluten-free? Yes, if it is prepared in a facility free of cross contamination. Is miso soup vegan? Yes, definitely!
This kabocha squash soup pairs the delicious flavors of miso soup in a delicious, plant-based, gluten-free soup that you can whip up in under 20 minutes using just 7 ingredients.
- Cut the kabocha squash into large pieces (unpeeled), scoop out the seeds, and place in a microwave safe dish. Cover with 1/2 cup water and microwave*. Cook for 10 minutes (or until tender).
- Allow to cool slightly, then scoop the soft flesh from the peel with a spoon.
- Put the pumpkin inside the container of a blender. Add vegetable broth, plant milk, miso, and ginger and process until smooth (about 2 minutes).
- Add the broth to a medium pot and heat until bubbling (about 5 minutes).
- Divide soup among 4 small bowls (about 1 1/4 cups per serving) and top with 1/4 cup tofu, 1 tablespoon green onions, and a drizzle of chili oil (optional). Serve immediately.
*Instead of microwaving squash, you can also roast it by placing pieces in a baking dish with a little water and baking at 350 F for about 35 minutes until tender. You can steam it in a large pot covered with water and a lid for about 25 minutes until tender.
- Time allowed to fix: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Category: broth
- Food: Asian, American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 156
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 453 mg
- fat: 6 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- fiber: 3 g
- protein: 12 g
Keywords: vegan miso soup, kabocha squash soup, roasted kabocha squash, how to cook kabocha squash, kabocha soup
For other plant-based soup recipes, check out these:
Vegan Tortilla Soup
Classic Tomato Soup
Delicata Squash Soup with Five Spice
Curried Mung Bean Vegetable Soup
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