This roasted kabocha squash soup with soba is a whole meal in a bowl. Sweet winter kabocha squash with nutty soba noodles, crunchy pomegranate seeds and spicy radish slices combine in a warm, comforting soup that is perfect for a chilly fall or winter evening. This soba noodle bowl combines all the best of autumn’s produce.
If you’ve read my recipe for vegan pumpkin pasta with wild mushrooms, you’ll know how difficult it is to find any kind of variety of pumpkin in Barcelona. Butternut squash is pretty much the only option unless you make a special trip to the market before they close at 2:00.
Imagine my excitement to happen upon kabocha squashes at the Asian supermarket (open until 9:00!), and for only one euro each! Less vegetal and sweeter than butternut squash, kabocha squash makes an amazingly creamy vegan winter soup, and without the need for coconut milk.
Roasting kabocha squash highlights its natural sweetness and makes it dangerously addictive. Be wary of tasting a piece straight out of the oven, you may not be able to stop eating it!
It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to roast a kabocha, so you can take advantage to add extra layers of flavour to your soup by roasting a head of garlic and caramelizing an onion. Blended into the soup, roasted garlic and caramelized onion add an extra layer of sweetness and complexity that simply pan frying won’t do.
There seems to be a lot of doubt as to if kabocha squash skin is edible. Yes, you can eat the skin and it’s delicious! It also has a lot of fibre and extra vitamins so it’s a good idea to leave the skin on.
You’ll notice that by leaving the green skin on, the soup comes out more mustard coloured than the bright orange you’d typically see in a pumpkin soup but I believe that the skin adds more flavour (and fibre and vitamins) to the dish. However if you prefer a brightly coloured soup, simply peel the skin off after roasting.
Another great source of fibre and protein in this dish are the soba noodles. I love the nutty flavour of soba noodles and have used them several times before on the blog for this sesame-ginger soba and this soba with shiitake mushrooms dish.
Just as important as building the flavours of this kabocha squash soup is adding textural contrast. That’s where the toppings come in. Pomegranate seeds, green onions and radishes add crunch, a bit of acidity and spiciness while keeping a few whole chunks of kabocha squash give you more to sink your teeth into.
Served with crusty bread, this kabocha squash soup with soba noodles makes a filling, healthy meal!
- 1 kabocha squash, scrubbed well
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 large onion, sliced thickly
- 2 bundles of dried soba noodles (usually 50 grams / 1.8 oz each)
- 2.5 to 3.5 cups of hot water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- The juice of half a lemon
- The seeds of half a pomegranate
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 green onions, sliced
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Cut the kabocha into wide slices and toss with a couple tablespoons of oil. Slice the top off the head of garlic to just expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Place the kabocha and garlic on a baking pan and roast until the squash is tender and caramelized – about 30 – 40 minutes. You can also do what I did and roast the garlic for two minutes in the microwave using this garlic roaster.
- Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium-low heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced onion and fry gently, stirring from time to time, until the onion is golden brown, sweet and caramelized – about 30 minutes. Also, boil the soba noodles according to the package directions, drain and run under cold water. Drain again and set aside.
- Remove the squash and garlic from the oven and reserve one or two squash slices to dice for garnish. Place the rest of the squash in a blender and add the caramelized onion, a few cloves of roasted garlic, salt, lemon juice and two cups of water. Blend. Add more water until you reach the consistency that you like for the soup. Taste and add more garlic if you want (I ended up adding the whole head because I love roasted garlic) and adjust the salt to your liking.
- Serve the kabocha squash soup in bowls and top with the soba noodles, pomegranate seeds, green onion, diced squash, radish and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 651 Total Fat: 36g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 31g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1205mg Carbohydrates: 80g Fiber: 13g Sugar: 40g Protein: 11g