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Kabocha Squash Leek Soup with Pistachios (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Sharon Palmer

If you’ve ever spied kabocha squash at your farmers market or grocery store and wondered what to do with it, here’s your answer: Create a creamy, flavorful Kabocha Squash Leek Soup with Pistachios! 

Kabocha Squash at the Pasadena Farmers Market

Kabocha squash is a Japanese squash—a staple in this traditional cuisine. With a deep green or bright red-orange peel, the flesh is rich, velvety, and ranges in colors from a sunny yellow-orange to a yellow-chartreuse. This squash is just packed with vitamin A. My recipe borrows Mediterranean flavors of herbs, garlic, leek and pistachios to create an utterly delicious, creamy, satisfying soup. which also happens to be 100% plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free. Pair this soup with a toasted sandwich, such as my favorite Vegan BLTA Sandwich, or a hearty salad, such as this fabulous Tofu Kale Power Bowl.

If you can’t find Kabocha squash, you can easily swap out another winter squash in this recipe, such as butternut, acorn, turban, delicata, or carnival. Squash is a wonderful seasonal vegetable to include in your diet when the summer produce wanes. 

You can also try growing winter squash in your garden, as it’s quite hardy and easy to grow in many climates. Plant a few seeds, and be ready for an explosion of vines, leaves, and flowers (which are also excellent in cooking!). 

You can also speed up this 10-ingredient recipe (not including pantry staples) by using frozen or fresh cut squash, which is increasingly available at many supermarkets.

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Kabocha Squash Leek Soup with Pistachios (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds, and then slice each half into four pieces.
  3. Place in a baking dish filled with ½-inch water. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place in oven and bake for about 35-40 minutes, just until tender when pierced with a fork.
  4. Remove squash from oven and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out cooked squash from the peel with a spoon. Set aside.
  5. While squash is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Add leek and garlic and sauté for 8 minutes.
  6. Add tarragon, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, and pistachios and sauté for another minute.
  7. Add vegetable broth and cooked squash and bring to a simmer, cooking for about 5 minutes.
  8. Remove bay leaves and turn off heat.
  9. Add plant-based milk. Use immersion blender and blend soup until smooth and creamy (or place soup in a blender container and puree). Add salt and pepper (if desired). Turn on medium heat to bring soup just to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve in bowls and garnish with additional pistachios if desired.

Notes

Instant Pot directions: Slice kabocha squash into large pieces, scoop out seeds, and peel it. Place the squash, along with the olive oil, leek, garlic, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, pistachios, and vegetable broth in the container of the Instant Pot. Press “Soup” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, remove the bay leaf and add plant-based milk. Puree soup in a blender container and add salt and pepper (if desired). Turn on medium heat to bring soup just to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve in bowls and garnish with additional pistachios if desired.

Slow cooker directions: Slice kabocha squash into large pieces, scoop out seeds, and peel it. Place the squash, along with the olive oil, leek, garlic, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, bay leaves, pistachios, and vegetable broth in the container of the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4–6 hours or on low for 8–12 hours. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. When done, remove the bay leaf and add plant-based milk. Puree soup in a blender container and add salt and pepper (if desired). Turn on medium heat to bring soup just to a simmer. Remove from heat. Serve in bowls and garnish with additional pistachios if desired.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 170
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 297 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 5 g

For other plant-based soup recipes, check out the following:

Curried Leek Vegetable Soup
Indian-Style Lentil Stew
Carnival Squash Soup with Fresh Turmeric

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