Sweet Potato Kabocha Soup Recipe

This Kabocha Soup is my daughter Bella’s favorite.

I brought her a vat of it when she had her baby. Still she doesn’t seem to tire of it and now enjoys it with her baby. I always notice with pleasure that all kids big and small love it! A snap to make: All aboard, then cream it at the end of cooking.

Kabocha, tiny red lentils, sweet potatoes all pull in their weight to impart naturally sweet layers of flavor, and contribute to the silky texture and bright orange shade of the finished soup.

Kabocha is my favorite squash of all.

No hit or miss surprises. Lean, dense, meaty, deeply flavored, nutritious—there’s nothing you can’t do with it: Kabocha soup, stews, even salads, grated raw, skin and all!



  • 1 kabocha squash, about 2 pounds, unpeeled, seeded, and cut into large chunks (use a hammer)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cups tiny red lentils  (Passover: 2 large potatoes, cut in large chunks)
  • 6 ribs celery, peeled
  • 1 large bunch dill, fronds and stems
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 6 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water
  • Ground pepper to taste


Bring all ingredients to boil in a wide heavy pot. Reduce to medium, cover, and cook 1½ hours. Cream with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Makes a dozen ample servings

7 replies
  1. Susan Schwartz
    Susan Schwartz says:

    I think Debbie Rubin asked a great question, “What is the difference in taste and/or texture of the soup when using the red lentils as compared to using the yellow split peas?” The favor of your expert reply, for those of us trying to decide which one to use, is greatly appreciated…Thank you.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      I think I did answer that. It’s all about the flavor, no other reason, and no expertise needed here. I developed the recipe, just as I do all of my recipes. And the choice of the grain I have here is I believe the right one. Those of you who have my books, especially the last one, know that there’s never a time where a dish would benefit from some variations without my mentioning it. Having said that, if you want to use lentils instead of peas or vice versa, and you like the finished dish, by all means enjoy it. And let me know how it comes out!

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Debbie, this is not the question. Its not only the texture we want, its the flavor. Lentils and peas are certainly not interchangeable in this recipe, and in quite a few others.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      No, kabocha is the right name. Look for it in a good produce store, especially in Latin neighborhoods but it’s available pretty much everywhere

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