Acorn Squash & Chinese Five-Spice Soup

This is one of my all-time favorite soups. The acorn squash, pear, and Chinese 5-spice are just MAGICAL flavors together. This recipe comes from the plant-based classic Veganomicon, adapted slightly for BLE.

Acorn Squash & Chinese Five-Spice Soup

6 oz Veggies | 3 oz Fruit | 1 Protein | 1 Fat
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3
Recipe From: Katie’s Bright Kitchen



  • 1 acorn squash 1.5 to 2 lb squash
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion diced (5 oz raw)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced (3 oz raw)
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms sliced (8 oz raw)


  • 18 oz adzuki beans about 2 cans, drained


  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil for the soup
  • 1.5 Tbsp sesame oil for the mushrooms


  • 9 oz ripe diced pear (about 2 pears)

Condiments & Spices

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger minced or grated
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • Splash of soy sauce or tamari for gf


  • Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the acorn squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and roast face down on a piece of parchment paper, lightly sprayed with oil, salt, and pepper if desired. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until soft.
  • Sauté the onions and peppers in the 1.5 Tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 more minute over medium heat.
  • Stirring often, add the salt, five-spice, and pear, and cook for another minute before adding the vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10-15 more minutes, or until the pears are tender.
  • If you are going to purée some of the soup, purée half of it now, either using an immersion blender or by transferring half of it to a blender.
  • Add the adzuki beans to the soup. Cover and simmer over low heat until the beans are heated, about 5 minutes. Thin with extra broth if the soup is too thick.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms. In a cast iron skillet or other kind of skillet, heat the 1.5 tablespoons of sesame oil over medium heat. Brown the mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
  • Add a splash of soy sauce and lime and stir until combined.


Notes for Bright Line Eaters
  • To weigh the veggies, in a bowl on the food scale, weigh the scooped out squash and cooked onions and peppers to reach 1 lb 2 oz (which is 3 veggie servings of 6 oz each), or adjust to 3 veggie servings according to your food plan. Save any extra squash for another meal.
  • To portion and serve, divide the soup into 3 equal portions in bowls or in large tupperware containers or jars. Or, you can measure out 1 lb, 2 oz of soup, which is 1 serving.
  • Top each serving of soup with 1/3 of the browned mushrooms. I count the mushrooms as a condiment, because they cook down to less than 1 oz per serving. The oil, however, is counted as part of the fat serving.
  • This soup contains pears, so it works on the weight loss plan for lunch. It doesn’t contain a full fruit serving though (it only contains half), so you’ll need eat another half of a fruit serving on the side to complete the meal. You could try doubling the amount of pears, but it might make the soup too sweet.
  • Blending this soup is optional, it’s yummy either way.
  • If it’s important to you to weigh your meal precisely, I’ve taken the time to figure out the exact raw amounts, and provided step by step photos below to help you weigh the individual components.
  • For other ways to weigh mixed category dishes for BLE, see this article.
Tried this recipe?Mention @katiesbrightkitchen or tag #katiesbrightkitchen!
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  1. PERFECT timing!! I have some adzuki beans in my pantry and have had no idea what to do with them. This looks delicious! Thanks Katie – love all the how to pictures.

  2. Hi Katie! What is Chinese 5 spice?

    Sent from Mrs T


  3. So this makes 3 servings total, right? How much does 1 serving approximately weigh?

  4. Wonderful recipe. Thanks so much for posting this !

  5. Delicious recipe.Thanks for sharing!!

  6. YUMMMM! Such intriguing flavors. The pear with the five spice with the sesame/soy shiitake. SOOO good Katie! This takes a while to make, but it felt very nurturing to do all the prep on this dreary Friday! I did about 1/2 puree using the immersion blender in the pot – just like your pictures.

  7. This is my favorite recipe so far! Took me a while to make but so worth it! Buying veggies presliced will make a big difference. Used navy beans because I could not find adzuki anywhere. Are they hard to find or partial to health food stores? Other than the mushrooms is there any reason not to do this on a slow cooker?

    • I know, it’s hard to find adzuiki beans for some reason. I think we finally found them at whole foods. Sometimes they are in natural food sections. I don’t think there’s any reason not to do this one in a slow cooker, let me know how it goes!

  8. Made this today – delicioussss combo of flavors, especially the hint of pear against everything else. I blended half and like that because it made it a think soup with just a bit of chunkines. I used black beans, garbanzo, and pinto, and it still turned out well.

  9. I thought this was delicious!!! I like texture so I did not blend 1/2.

  10. OH WOW! Does this look good! Thank you, Katie! You’re always so precise with your recipes and I appreciate it! I’m getting back on the BLE train and I’m planning out my meals for this next week. Can’t wait to try this one out!

  11. Do you think I could use other spices than Chinese 5 spice?

    • The Chinese 5 spice is what makes this soup so freaking yummy, in my opinion. You could swap it with something else, but it would be a pretty different soup. Maybe garam masala or curry powder?

  12. I had never used Chinese 5 Spice. I agree with you, Katie, this spice makes this dish! So unique and deeeeelish!!

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