Silky-smooth and full of warming goodness, this Instant Pot Kabocha Squash Soup is the perfect meal for the crisp days ahead. Apple, onion, rosemary, and squash come together in a soup that is done in under twenty minutes and BONUS, full of plant-powered nutrition!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- The texture and flavor of kabocha squash are a welcomed alternative to pumpkin.
- A good squash soup recipe is a must-have in your repertoire. It is nourishing, so perfect for weekday lunches and suppers, but it can also be fancy; you can serve up this soup all throughout the holiday season.
- The striking orange color of this soup works with a plethora of garnishes like toasted seeds, swirls of cream, croutons, or sautéed greens.
Let's Get Cooking!
INGREDIENTS and SUBSTITUTIONS:
Detailed measurements and ingredients can be found within the recipe card at the end of this post.
Whole Kabocha Squash– Kabocha squash is nutty and sweet and honestly my favorite winter squash. But we have an abundance of fall squash available in the markets you can use butternut, pumpkin, or honey nut squash as a substitution. A combination of squashes may also be interesting.
Apple– Really, truly any apples that you have in hand will work in this recipe. I like a crisp fall apple like a honey crisp or pink lady. Also, you could toss in a few spoonfuls of applesauce in a pinch.
Onion & Garlic– Any combination of leek/onion/garlic/shallot will work in this soup. Though I find that white onion and garlic are quite delicious with squash.
Chicken or Vegetable Stock – Either will work perfectly fine. I always keep a supply of chicken and vegetable stock in my pantry for quick soup recipes. This is my go-to easy to grab brand.
Fresh Rosemary – Fresh rosemary is key in this recipe, it brings out the savory goodness of squash. You can use dried rosemary in a pinch.
Ghee or Olive Oil – Ghee adds an extra dose of healthy fat and rich goodness. Olive oil or coconut oil would work equally well.
TOOLS YOU WILL USE:
STEP ONE: Prepare Kabocha Squash:
Seriously the EASIEST way to cook a kabocha squash is in a pressure cooker/instant pot or a crockpot. This will eliminate the need to chop/dice/ cut in half, i.e. you won't have to handle the hard part of dealing with hearty winter squash.
Once the squash is tender, reserve the squash puree and set aside.
STEP TWO: Sauté ingredients in Instant Pot:
Melt ghee or warm olive oil in the instant pot. Sauté onion, apple, garlic, fresh rosemary, and salt for five minutes until the aromatics soften and the onion looks translucent.
Add reserved kabocha squash and stock to the instant pot, add chicken or vegetable broth. Close the lid, turn valve to sealed position and cook on manual for 4 minutes.
STEP THREE: Blend and Garnish!
Activate quick release, stir the kabocha squash soup and blend using either a stick blender or by carefully adding all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend until thick and creamy.
Garnish – The best part of pureed kabocha squash soup is the garnish! I love adding tender massaged kale and finely diced apple. You can add sour cream, yogurt, toasted pumpkin seeds, or croutons.
MASTER THIS RECIPE! HEALTHY KABOCHA SQUASH RECIPE TIPS
1. Have some extra stock on hand:
I find that oftentimes squash soup is too thick. You may need to add additional stock or water to thin the soup to your liking. 3 cups of stock worked perfectly for me but if your kabocha squash is smaller or larger you may need more or less.
2. Skip peeling the squash (like in this recipe) for a time saving short cut:
Steaming or roasting the squash ahead of time eliminates the need to peel the squash which can be a tricky task. See recipe notes for how to make this soup without an Instant Pot/pressure cooker.
3. Have fun garnishing the soup!
Adding a garnish to squash soup brings a fun element of flavor or texture. Toasted pumpkin seeds, massaged kale, savory granola or a swirl of coconut cream are some of my favorites.
FREEZE IT! This soup freezes well and can be frozen for up to three months.
STORE IT! you can store Kabocha squash soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
REHEAT IT! Reheat the soup gently over medium heat in a saucepan. You do not want the soup to scorch or burn on the bottom.
Can I use Kabocha Squash instead of Butternut Squash?
Kabocha squash is a wonderful stand-in for butternut squash in recipes. Try kabocha squash in your soups, gratins, and baked goods. It may have a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavor but it is brilliantly orange and full of squash-like goodness like butternut squash.
What does Kabocha Squash taste like?
Kabocha squash tastes like a cross between pumpkin, acorn squash, and sweet potato. The flesh of the squash has a drier texture than pumpkin but when blended in soups it becomes velvety and smooth. It is sweet, rich, and nutty.
DIETARY MODIFICATIONS FOR THIS RECIPE:
This recipe is gluten-free, paleo, whole 30, low fodmap and vegetarian.
- Vegan – Use vegetable broth and coconut oil or olive oil in place of ghee.
MORE HEALTHY SOUP RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE!
I can’t wait for you to try this Instant Pot Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe! When you make it, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @abrapappa or use the hashtag #abraskitchen so I can feature your photo!
If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
Healthy Kabocha Squash Soup
- 1 whole kabocha squash 3 cups puree
- 1 apple peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1 tbsp. ghee or olive oil
Prepare Kabocha Squash
- INSTANT POT: Steam kabocha squash in the instant pot, add 2-3 cups of water into the bottom of the pan, add the trivet and the entire squash. No cutting or poking necessary. Cook on manual for 15 minutes or until a knife can easily be inserted into squash. When cool enough to handle remove it from the instant pot and cut open, scrape out seeds and throw away. Carefully spoon out the squash (away from the skin) and reserve.
- OVEN: Using a very sharp knife cut the kabocha squash into quarters. Scrape out the seeds and discard. Drizzle the squash with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 40-60 minutes or until tender. When cool enough to handle carefully cut off the outer skin and reserve the tender squash.
SOUP INSTRUCTIONS INSTANT POT:
- Turn instant pot to sauté setting.
- Put ghee or olive oil in the instant pot and sauté the onion, apple, garlic, rosemary and salt for 5 minutes to soften and allow the onions to become translucent.
- Add squash puree and stock. Seal the instant pot with lid and cook on manual setting for 4 minutes.
- Add more stock if needed.
- Garnish: massage kale leaves with olive oil and apple cider vinegar, toss in apples and garnish each bowl with a spoonful of kale/apple salad
SOUP INSTRUCTIONS STOVE TOP:
- In a large soup pot, saute onion, apple, garlic and rosemary in ghee for 5 minutes or until the onions become soft. Add reserved kabocha squash and vegetable stock. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat. Stir well, blend, garnish, serve.
- Use the quick release and remove the lid once pressure has released. Blend the soup using an immersion blender or by carefully adding all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Can I Help You Meal Plan?
Enter your email below to download my free - one week - real food (mostly plants) meal plan. Grocery list, recipes, prep schedule, it's all there for you 🙂