Kabocha Soup for the Soul

Kabocha Soup for the Soul

When it comes to my love for food, kabocha soup (pronounced as ka-boh-cha) is one of my top comfort foods not only for the taste but also for the nostalgia.

The first time I had kabocha soup was back in junior high. The memory is still as fresh as the snow that night when my brother and I went over to help our aunt fix her cable. Right after we kicked the snow off our boots and walked in, we were welcomed with a peculiar scent. It smelled nutty with a hint of ginger, and to our surprise, we found two steaming bowls of golden rice porridge waiting for us. Heeding our aunt’s directions to eat it before it got cold, we took off our mittens and sat down. It was love at first bite, and as we gobbled up the rest, I still remember the warmth and the crisp crackles from the fireplace.

That’s my personal experience with kabocha, but if you’re still unsure whether to try it or not, let me tell you some of the many health benefits that come along with it. Kabocha, commonly known as winter squash or Japanese pumpkin, actually has the lowest amount of carbohydrates compared to the rest of its squash family. Additionally, it contains vitamins A, B, and C, all while being high in fiber and rich in iron. And for those who haven’t had the chance to try kabocha yet, it tastes similar to a sweet potato and pumpkin, mixed with a hint of chestnut. Not only is it good for your health, it tastes great too! You can expect to find these plump bundles of bliss at most Asian grocery stores such as 99 Ranch Market, HMart, and many more.

There are many ways to cook kabocha, so feel free to explore! You can sauté it into a delicious savory dish or steam it into sweet desserts. Luckily, its skin is edible, so you don’t have to peel it off the hard shell. However, due to the tough exterior, prepping the kabocha by chopping it into pieces is the most difficult part. Although this is not the dish my aunt made for us, this is my take on cooking a kabocha. Alright, let’s get started!

Kabocha Soup

Total time: 45 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Up to 4 servings


  • ½ kabocha
  • 4 white mushrooms
  • 2 carrots
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of corn

Seasoning ingredients

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt

To prep:

  1. Using a spoon, scoop the seeds out of the kabocha.
  2. Dice tomatoes, carrots and kabocha into small cubes. Note: be extra careful when chopping the kabocha. Its skin is hard, so make sure your cutting board isn’t sliding around.
  3. Cut the ginger into 5 slices.
  4. Combine the turmeric, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt in a bowl. Set it aside.

On to the stove:

  1. Grab a pot (I recommend 10.5 qt. size) and place it on top of the stove. Turn to medium heat.
  2. Once the pot is warmed up, add coconut oil.
  3. Add in ginger, kabocha, and one cup of water into the pot. Stir and place the lid on top of the pot. Let it simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, turn the heat to low, and use any spoon to squish the kabocha into a paste-like consistency. (If it is not soft enough to mash, let it simmer for another 2 minutes.)
  5. Add in the tomatoes, carrots, and the rest of the water into the pot. Stir, put the lid on, and turn it back up to medium heat for 5 minutes.
  6. Open the lid, stir again, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. Add in all the seasoning ingredients and corn into the pot. Stir to combine.
  8. Let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
  9. Pour into a bowl and serve!

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