kabocha soup made with brown rice in a black bowl with toast

This 1-pot Kabocha Brown Rice Soup is light yet hearty and perfect for the fall or winter weather. It’s healthy, incredibly easy to make and so comforting. Vegan, dairy free & gluten free.

kabocha soup made with brown rice in a black bowl with toast croutons on top 3/4 shot

Ever since posting my Panera Black Bean Soup recipe, I’ve been on full soup mode. I’ve been making everything into a soup and this is how this recipe was basically made- it was kind of a blessed accident.

Threw some left over onions and kabocha into a pot and let that simmer in some kombu dashi stock. It was missing a little somethin’ somethin’ and found some left over Genmai (Japanese short grain brown rice) in the fridge and threw that in for a couple minutes. Added in some thyme for fun and added in a pinch of salt and wow, I didn’t expect it to turn out this good.

Sweet yet savoury with a huge umami punch. My first batch I kept it kind of like a soup-porridge because I absolutely love the texture of chewy brown rice but I have also been enjoying it fully blended into a smooth soup. You gotta try this recipe ASAP– now let’s make some soup!

kabocha soup with brown rice ingredients

Ingredients for Kabocha Brown Rice Soup

There’s so much flavour going on in this soup despite it being just 5-ingredients.

  • Onions: adds savouriness
  • Kabocha: the base of this soup and provides sweetness
  • Kombu Dashi: for umami
  • Genmai: or Japanese brown rice, gives the soup texture and makes it more hearty
  • Thyme: for flavour!
kabocha pumpkin soup made with rice in a black bowl with toast croutons

How to Make Kabocha Brown Rice Soup

Soups in general are super duper easy to make but you really can’t mess up this soup. 3-simple steps, plus it’s made in just 1 pot. You simply just have to make sure the kabocha is fork tender and you’re on your way to the yummiest kabocha soup, like ever.

  1. Add the ingredients into a pot: Give the onions a quick fry. Then add the kabocha, dashi, brown rice, thyme and salt.
  2. Simmer: Bring the heat up to a high and allow the dashi to come to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a medium low and let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until kabocha is fork tender. 
  3. Blend: Use a immersion blender and blend until desired consistency.

Favourite Ways to Serve Kabocha Soup: Serve it up immediately and then garnish it with some black sesame seeds for a bit of nuttiness! It’s absolutely delicious with thick slice of sourdough bread or toasted french baguette.

How to Store this Soup: Store any leftovers in the fridge in an air tight container for 3-5 days or in the freezer for months. To reheat, simply just microwave until heated through.

pumpkin genmai soup in a black bowl close up

Tips & Tricks to Making Perfect Kabocha Brown Rice Soup

  • Buy Good Kabocha: My secret hack to choosing the BEST kabocha is by weight. The heavier it is, the more sweet it usually is. The skin should be dark green and look out for a nice orange patch somewhere on the outside.
  • Japanese Brown Rice (Genmai): Do not use regular long grain brown rice or basmati brown rice. If possible, select Japanese brown rice as it tends to be slightly softer. Adding the rice to the soup during the simmering process helps make it even softer.
  • Caramelize the onions: For a deeper flavour, caramelize the onions. It does take a bit longer, but totally worth it if you have the time!
brown rice pumpkin soup in a black bowl

I hope you add this Kabocha Brown Rice Soup recipe to your fall cooking list and enjoy it as much as I do! It’s seriously so delicious, light yet hearty and truly hits the spot when craving something cozy.

brown rice kabocha soup in a bowl with sesame seeds and toast croutons

More Kabocha Recipes to Try!

brown rice pumpkin soup in a bowl with sesame seeds side shot

If you recreate this Kabocha Brown Rice Soup recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Kabocha Brown Rice Soup


  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

This 1-pot Kabocha Brown Rice Soup is light yet hearty and perfect for the fall or winter weather. It’s healthy, incredibly easy to make and so comforting. Vegan, dairy free & gluten free.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Instructions

  1. Add the onions into a medium pot and fry in water or a little oil over medium high heat (2 minutes).
  2. Once the onions become fragrant and slightly browned, add in the kabocha. Then pour in the kombu dashi and mix. Add in the cooked brown rice, dried thyme and salt. Bring the heat up to a high and allow the dashi to come to a boil. Then turn down the heat to a medium low and let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until kabocha is fork tender. 
  3. Use an immersion blender to blend until desired consistency. Or carefully blend the soup in a regular blender. Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Soups & Stews
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 194
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 1381mg
  • Fat: 1.37g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.29g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: kabocha, soup, genmai, brown rice

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

brown rice pumpkin soup in a bowl with sesame seeds side shot

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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2 Comments

  1. This is a lovely, lovely recipe and so versatile. Made it without the rice and paired it with the chili crisp croutons. Wowowow! So good. Will likely try faro or barley in it next time as I don’t usually have brown rice on hand.

  2. Love this recipe! So easy and customizable. Will definitely be a fall staple . Will definitely be trying more recipes from you bc they are so unique and look and sound INCREDIBLE!