I got excited recently because I had a savory 'pumpkin soup' that wasn't sweet at all and googled the recipe, which had Hokkaido squash. Is Hokkaido squash definitely savory? I hate most winter root vegetables because they're very sweet (pumpkin, acorn/butternut/kabocha squash, sweet potato). But I was excited to try celeriac soup, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichoke puree, and parsley root (in moderation). I'm on the hunt for more savory winter vegetables.

Are there any winter vegetables (other than celery root and kohlrabi) that aren't sweet and are savory/ grown in EU that work for soup? And is Hokkaido squash definitely savory?

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    Welcome to SA! However, recipe requests aren't allowed on this board, see: cooking.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic As such, I edited your question to remove that portion.
    – FuzzyChef
    Nov 13, 2021 at 4:51
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    I don’t think that the question can be answered as it is not so much a question of vegetable but a question of combining cooking techniques, pairing the ingredients and seasoning. Think of how different an onion will taste depending on how you treat it.
    – jmk
    Nov 13, 2021 at 7:43
  • @jmk I have rarely had a dish with acorn or butternut squash where the sweetness didn't come through. I'd like to buy seasonally. I've been looking through recipes and getting very excited about the new root vegetables locals put in soups/mash (such as kohlrabi/watercress.. even chicory). Ordinarily the cuisine is very heavy. On the east coast, most gourds/winter veg, even delicata, are sickly sweet.
    – Drivegg
    Nov 13, 2021 at 12:00

2 Answers 2


From just reading looks like you got lucky as sites suggested the Hokkaido squash could be sweet ( e.g "The golden flesh of Blue Kuri is sweet and can be used in dessert recipes as well as in savory/sweet side dishes"

Read more at Gardening Know How: What Is A Blue Hokkaido Squash: Learn About Blue Kuri Squash Care https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/what-is-a-blue-hokkaido-squash.htm; )

Consider turnips and swedes: the former often have a distinct peppery taste; yams are made into soup in thailand, never made soup with it but lotus root isnt sweet nor is fresh bamboo shoot. Then you can branch out into the more exotic like burdock cassava and the like.


There are many varieties of squash and root vegetables, some of which aren’t specifically bred for sweetness.

But how the vegetables are grown and stored play a rather significant role in sweetness.

For instance, if you leave many root vegetables in the ground over the winter, they’ll increase their sugar, which you specifically don’t want. But grocery stores might keep carrots and such refrigerated, which has the same effect.

Sweet potatoes are the opposite— they’re ‘cured’ with heat to improve sweetness and storage life.

Some varieties of squash are sweet when really young (the ‘summer squashes’ like zucchini and others picked when small), while others (the ‘winter squashes’ like pumpkins) are let to fully mature to get their full sweetness.

So my suggestion would be to see if there’s any sort of farmers market near you, and tell them what you’re looking for. They might have some immature squashes that they had to pick early because they were damaged, or be willing to sell you uncured sweet potatoes, etc.

They could also tell you which varieties are less sweet. I know white carrots tend to be less sweet than orange, but I can only get them individually at the farm stands. In the stores, I have to buy a bag of ‘multicolored’ carrots, some of which are sweeter than the orange ones.

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