Instant Pot Lemongrass-Ginger Kabocha Squash Soup

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recipe by Nisha Vora

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon

September 1 marks an important day in food culture: It’s the day it becomes socially acceptable to put pumpkin in everything. But, the real star of fall should be kabocha squash. Its light, velvety texture and sweet, nutty notes make it the perfect mash-up between a sweet potato and a pumpkin. You can find this underrated winter squash (also known as a Japanese pumpkin) at farmers’ markets, Asian grocers, and stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Its peak season is late summer and fall, though you may find it year-round. The sweetness of the kabocha squash shines in this soup and is underscored by a sweetness from juicy Fuji apples. There’s a little heat from Thai chile peppers and a pungency from fresh ginger and lemongrass. The result is a harmoniously flavored soup that is light yet creamy, making it the ideal starter at your Thanksgiving table.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Feb 5, 2020


  • Yellow onion icon
    Yellow onion
    1 (140g)
  • Carrot icon
    2 (100g)
  • Green thai chiles icon
    Green thai chiles
  • Garlic clove icon
    Garlic clove
  • Ginger icon
    2 tbsp (about 11g)
  • Fuji apple icon
    Fuji apple
    2 (300g)
  • Kabocha squash icon
    Kabocha squash
    1 (1814g)
  • Cilantro icon
    as needed
  • Vegetable oil icon
    Vegetable oil
    1.5 tbsp (22ml)
  • Low sodium vegetable broth icon
    Low sodium vegetable broth
    4 cups (1012g)
  • Kosher salt icon
    Kosher salt
    1.5 tsp (4g)
  • Coconut milk icon
    Coconut milk
    383ml (1½ cups)
  • Soy sauce icon
    Soy sauce
    1 tbsp (15ml)
  • Lemongrass stalk icon
    Lemongrass stalk
    2 (24g)
  • Lime juice icon
    Lime juice
    2 tsp (about 2)
  • Roasted peanuts icon
    Roasted peanuts
    as needed


  • kCook icon Wooden spoon
  • kCook icon Stick blender
  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Inner pot

Step preview

  1. Add vegetable oil to the inner pot
  2. Pre-heat until hot - Sauté, Normal
  3. Add yellow onion and carrot to the inner pot
  4. Cook until lightly browned while stirring occasionally - 5 min
  5. Add green Thai chiles, garlic clove and ginger to the inner pot
  6. Cook while stirring frequently - approx 1 min
  7. Pour low sodium vegetable broth into the inner pot
  8. Deglaze with a wooden spoon
  9. Add fuji apple, kosher salt, kabocha squash, coconut milk, soy sauce and lemongrass stalk to the inner pot
  10. Stir until well combined
  11. Cancel - Sauté
  12. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  13. Pressure cook - Soup, High, 12 min
  14. Natural release - 5 min
  15. Quick release
  16. Discard the lemongrass stalks
  17. Blend with stick blender until smooth
  18. Stir lime juice into the inner pot
  19. Garnish with roasted peanuts and cilantro
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