Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe with Fennel and Ginger [video]
There’s nothing like a hearty bowl of homemade soup to nourish the body and satisfy the senses. This recipe combines roasted kabocha squash with mung dal, ginger, and fennel to create a thick, creamy soup that is packed with flavor and nutrition.
Perfect for the wintertime as well as the spring, this recipe is balancing for all the doshas, especially kapha. And no matter who you are, we can all benefit from giving kapha a little extra care and attention at this time of year.
As the long cold winter months begin to subside and melt into spring, it’s the perfect time to focus on warming, cleansing, and lightening our internal environment as well. As we balance the slow, cool, heavy qualities of kapha, the energy of new inspiration can stir, quicken, and burst into life.
A Look at the Ingredients
To balance the wet, heavy nature of kapha, this soup brings in ingredients that are warming, light, and astringent. At the same time, it is neutral enough for all the doshas and can be easily adapted to make it just right for you.
Kabocha squash is inherently sweet and slightly astringent—this makes it suitable for all dosha types. The sweet quality is excellent for both pitta and vata, and the astringent taste makes it supportive for kapha. Roasting the squash also increases the dry, astringent quality—not to mention the incredible flavor!
The yellow mung dal brings a satisfying texture and grounding quality to the soup. And finally, adding fresh greens like arugula or spinach is a great way to invite a feeling of renewed lightness to your body.
Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe
This recipe uses simple ingredients, but the process of roasting the squash, sweating the vegetables, and tempering the spices allows the unique flavors and aromas to shine. As you gather your ingredients and prepare your soup, give yourself time to slow down and savor the process. The act of cooking can be a way to awaken and revitalize your senses.
- 1 kabocha squash*
- 2–4 tablespoons ghee or oil of choice
- ½ cup yellow mung dal, soaked overnight and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup diced carrot
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder, or 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (for vata)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or any broth of your choosing)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon red miso
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons star anise
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- Pepper, to taste
*If kabocha squash is unavailable, use butternut, delicata, or acorn squash instead
For the Seeds:
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- Salt, to taste
For the Topping:
- 1 cup fresh arugula or spinach*
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of olive oil
- Lemon juice
*To make this more pitta friendly, use a bitter green like dandelion greens or radicchio
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the squash open, scoop out the seeds, and set them aside. Cut the squash into 1-inch wedges and toss with 1–2 tablespoons oil or melted ghee and a sprinkle of salt. Place these on a baking pan lined with parchment paper and roast for approximately 45 minutes, or until tender, flipping halfway through for even browning.
If you’d like to use the seeds, rinse them thoroughly, pat dry, and toss with cinnamon, salt, and cayenne. Add them to your roasting pan when you flip the squash halfway through roasting, and let them roast the remainder of the time, or until toasty golden brown.
While the squash is roasting, mince and dice the shallots, celery, and carrot. Add the ghee or oil of choice to a large pot, then add the fennel seed and cumin seed. When the aroma lifts, add the ginger and shallots. Continue stirring for about 1 minute, then add the celery and carrots and sprinkle them with salt.
Cover the pot and sweat the veggies on medium-low heat until they begin to appear slightly transparent—approximately 5–10 minutes. Tempering the spices and sweating these ingredients develops the layers of flavor. Be patient with these steps, it will be worthwhile!
Remove the lid and add the miso and yellow mung dal. Toss until well coated, then add 3 cups of broth (keep one reserved) and a cup of plain water. (If using unpasteurized miso, wait to add it until the soup is done cooking.)
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer, adding the cinnamon stick and star anise. Add a dash of salt as well. Salting at different stages in the cooking process helps to develop the flavors. In Ayurveda, the salt taste enhances all other tastes.
When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and let cool slightly before handling. Using a spoon or knife, scoop out the roasted squash. Reserve 1 cup of squash, adding the remainder to the simmering pot of soup.
In a blender, mix the 1 cup of reserved squash with the reserved cup of broth. Blend to a smooth consistency, then add it to the soup pot as well. You may choose to omit this step and add all ingredients to the soup if you prefer a chunky soup. Alternatively, you can also blend more or all of the squash if you prefer a smooth and silky soup.
Make the topping:
Every aspect of the ingredients must be seasoned! Right before serving, toss your greens of choice with a dash of salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Since they are delicate greens, adding them at the very end and mixing them into the soup lightly cooks them with the natural heat of the soup. If you made the seeds, add them to your bowl at the very end and enjoy!