Made with fresh ingredients, this pumpkin soup is quick and easy to make. It's creamy, thick, succulent, and packed with nutrients. I assure you, you will cook it for years to come.
The Most Nutrient-Rich Pumpkin Soup
As the pumpkin is in high season during October and November, it becomes a must-have in the fall celebrations. So it's time to cook with it before it leaves us behind.
Some people would rather turn their backs on it and go for canned pumpkin purees, but I won't. No, no, no.
Ô! Intimidating pumpkin! The days when cutting you open scared me like a cat in front of the rain is over.
Yes, over! I've armed myself with a lot of courage, conviction, and confidence to take the bull by the horns.
If this fall squash also gives you a cold sweat, I'm sending you some strength to tackle it in the kitchen.
So today, if you're not averse to a bit of carving and blending, I have a super simple pumpkin recipe that includes a unique preparation method that will save you time and nutrients. Nutrients, how? My recipe is prepared from scratch, without canned products. My pumpkin is fresh, and so is my coconut milk.
Consequently, you get the benefits of a soup containing active nutrients rather than sleeping.
Okay, that's right. This adventure involves a sharp operation with a knife, but don't worry. It won't turn out like a bloody Annie Wilkes scene like in the Misery movie.
The moderate work will be worth it. And you'll see, this ocher-yellow soup has everything to offer. I was delighted with it.
The very moment the bite mixed with parsley, coconut milk, and seeds caressed my palate, I felt comforted by the cozy and thick texture. It felt like I was wrapped in a velvet sheet. There are, of course, notes of coconut and aromas reminiscent of the warmth of autumn.
What Goes in it?
Look, the ingredients are pretty straightforward, and this soup is a snap if you choose store-bought products. However, as I wanted to boost this soup's nutritional value, I prepared the ingredients from A to Z.
- Pumpkin – peeled and cut into large pieces. As explained previously, I chose a pumpkin that is good for baking: smaller and rounder than the Jack O 'Lantern pumpkin. To preserve all the nutritional magic of the nutrients, I used a less aggressive cooking method, such as steaming. If you want to go the convenient route, grab some canned pumpkin puree (the color will be a little darker).
- Coconut Cream – made from scratch, it is made from flakes of grated, unsweetened coconut and the cooking water from the steamed pumpkin. Again, if you're looking for convenience, go with store-bought coconut milk. Cashew milk works well too, given the creamy side.
- Red onion – this is my go-to choice for adding flavor and antioxidants.
- Garlic – to enhance the taste even more, as I like!
- Miso – gives umami, a round and delicious broth taste and the benefit of fermented nutrients (great for better digestion). The vegetable broth will also do the trick or, why not, a demi-glace vegetable sauce.
- Medjool Dates – this is optional if you find your soup is not sweet enough or if you've gone wrong with a variety of pumpkin (like, say, Jack O'Lantern, maybe?). It's 100% whole and natural sugar and it gives a flavor reminiscent of maple syrup, I think. They also bring a creamy side.
- Pumpkin spice pumpkin – my spice blend is homemade! I used nutmeg, cinnamon powder, ground black pepper, and salt.
How to Make it from Scratch
Okay, above was part one. Here's how to do the rest.
1 / Place the pieces of pumpkin, onion, and garlic in a steamer basket.
2 / Steam them with a lid.
3 / Roast the pumpkin seeds, drizzled with tamari, for garnish (optional).
4 / Make the coconut cream.
5 / Puree the steamed food, the cooking water, the coconut cream, and the seasonings in the blender.
6 / Transfer to a medium saucepan and simmer..
My Top Tips to Make it a Success
Is your soup too bland for your taste? Normally with the aforementioned spices, it should be quite tasty. But if you want even more flavor, you can add this:
Thai Red Curry – Sauté 2 tablespoons of red curry paste in ½ tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes until really fragrant, then add it to the recipe.
Ginger – Sauté 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger in ½ tablespoon of oil, then proceed to the recipe.
Cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika – Stir in ½ teaspoon of each of the spices.
Turmeric, cilantro, and cayenne pepper – Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric and cilantro and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Is your soup too sweet? If your soup is getting too sweet for your taste, try to balance the flavors by adding ingredients that are: acidic (1 teaspoon lemon, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar), bitter (1 ½ teaspoon turmeric ground to retain color), or spicy (hot sauce, chili peppers or ground dried peppers).
If none of that works, hey, well, you'll have to double the recipe (without the sweet ingredient, of course).
Is your soup too watery? If your soup seems too runny while cooking, increase the heat so that the excess moisture evaporates. Do not leave it on high heat too long: the soup thickens as you cool it.
Other solutions to thicken it involve adding a powdered thickener like flour, corn or potato starch, arrowroot, guar gum, or xanthan... This also makes it possible to obtain a smooth result.
If it remains too watery, add pasta, rice, tapioca, or potatoes to soak up the excess liquid. Oh! Well, look at that! That gives you other variations of pumpkin soup. Let's see more.
Other Creative Variations
I haven't come up with the following suggestions yet. Still, I'll share with you some interesting pumpkin soup ideas to add to my repertoire in the future:
- Pumpkin and sweet potato soup
- Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup
- Pumpkin and Carrot Soup
- Lentil Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin and chickpea soup
- Pumpkin and ginger soup
How to Serve it?
It can be served hot or cold, but its mild, strong flavor works best with other fall staples like butternut squash and apples. You can also try sprinkling the top of your soup with the following toppings:
- Coconut cream – to create a contrast of colors.
- Parsley – for the same reason.
- Roasted pumpkin seeds – to create contrasting textures. I used the ones in my pumpkin. I roasted them in the oven, drizzled with tamari. Other choices include roasted sesame seeds or roasted pine nuts.
- Croutons of bread, pasta (penne, fusilli, rigatoni), or potatoes - for the same reason (contrast in textures).
If your soup gets thick enough, toss it into a delicious salad wrap or slip it into a risotto.
How to Cut a Pumpkin without Hurting Yourself
In my humble beginnings, almost everywhere I looked, the most recommended way to cook a pumpkin, or any other squash, was to put it in the oven or in the microwave for about 15 or 20 minutes. Why? This method softens the flesh before scraping it with a spoon.
But it didn't suit me. I wanted to skip this step, get straight to the point, and reduce cooking as much as possible.
So, I decided to prepare it raw. Yes, raw. Well… kind of raw. Difficult, you think? Not at all.
You will need a sharp knife (ideally a chef's knife or utility knife) and a Y-peeler for this operation. Not a peeler that isn't worth a dime, bought at the $ 1 store, get it? Pumpkin has tough skin, so you need good tools.
Good. Follow me.
1 / After washing the pumpkin, cut it in half, not exactly in the middle. Don't even try to cut the stalk. It is as hard as steel. On the other hand, you can try to tear it off if that amuses you.
2 / Seed it.
3 / Place it face down, then peel it. Don't hesitate to take it in your hands to peel the skin at the ends.
4 / Finally, cut it into pieces.
Do you see how easy it is to peel, seed, and cut a pumpkin? Without even losing a finger? And the whole operation lasts much less than ten minutes.
Answers to Your Burning Questions
Round, flesh-filled pumpkins are a good choice for cooking. The pulp also has a better texture (less grainy) and is smoother. It's called in American English "Sugar Pumpkin" or "Pie Pumpkin." So, pick some smaller in shape than the monstrous pumpkins found in a typical pumpkin field.
Of the American variety Jack O'Lantern, the latter have hollow cavities, lean flesh, and are rather tasteless. They have been designed to facilitate cutting and therefore make Halloween lanterns. This is why they have a thinner shell and generally have less flesh (or pumpkin casings) inside. Plus, they're more grainy and stringy, and they tend to hold more water than smaller pumpkins.
Potiron (in French) happens to be slightly flattened. We don't always notice it, but if you observe them well, you will see a blue tint on the stem above the fruit. Their peduncle is closer to a thick cork stopper and gives the impression of being spongy, while that connected to the pumpkin presents a thin, short, hard, and angular appendage.
Typically, the potiron's heart is rather spongy, while the pumpkin has a more stringy consistency.
Be careful. Squash with soft flesh can make the soup a little watery. Find flawless pumpkins that make a hollow sound when struck. Once cut, make sure the flesh is bright in color and not fibrous.
Winter squash with a dense texture and sweet flavor will make the best soups. This is what old-fashioned varieties like Butternut squash or Kabocha (Queensland blue in Europe and elsewhere) have. In Australia, there is the Japanese (otherwise known as Kent), which also gives a good result, its flesh apparently being more consistent and smoother.
For potiron in Europe, select the Hungarian Blue or the Hubbard Blue and exclude the bright red from Etampes, which will have a bland flavor. Finally, the sweet potato is also a good option.
Yes, they are valued as a source of the mineral zinc, and the World Health Organization recommends their consumption as a great way to get this nutrient.
In commercial form, if you want to maximize the amount of zinc obtained from your pumpkin seeds, consider purchasing them in unshelled form. They are not a very rich source of vitamin E in the alpha-tocopherol form, but recent studies have shown that pumpkin seeds provide us with various forms. Roughly speaking, vitamin E helps you have good protection against degenerative diseases.
You can do that, but in this case, put them in boiling water to remove the sticky flesh. Here's how to eat extracted pumpkin seeds: roast them in the oven with a little salt, tamari, or other spices of your choice. As for the raw pumpkin, it's not very appetizing.
Make this Dish Now
You may feel incapable of tackling what seems unfamiliar or far away. So you hesitate, you procrastinate, you avoid.
But have no fear! As soon as you cross the first barrier of inertia and work on something that's falsely threatening, everything becomes fluid.
Cutting the pumpkin, for example, is as easy as pie. You can prepare it as easily as a boss lady.
Now, with your newfound knowledge and techniques, you can whip up pumpkin soup that's as heartwarming and soothing as the twilight glow.
It will provide you with food for your body, your mind, and your soul.
If you try this recipe, I want to know about it! I always appreciate your feedback. Leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!
Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- 4 cups pumpkin peeled, seeds reserved and cut into chunks
- ½ cup red onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup coconut flakes grated, unsweetened, plus ¼ cup
- 2 tablespoons miso or 2 vegetable broth cubes
- 1 Medjool date or 2 small soft dates or 2 tablespoons maple syrup (Optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon black pepper from the mill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds assorted (green and/or yellow reserved)
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- ½ cup parsley chopped
- In a medium pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Place the pumpkin, onion, and garlic in a steamer basket. Cook for 10 minutes until the ingredients soften. Set the cooked ingredients aside.
- In the blender, transfer 1 cup of the cooking water, add ½ cup of the coconut flakes and blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape the edges from time to time. Spread ¼ cup of the coconut cream and set aside.
- Add 3 cups of the cooking water, the remaining coconut flakes, pumpkin, cooked onion and garlic, optional dates, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, and salt. Mix until obtaining a smooth and creamy consistency. To keep it warm, transfer the thick liquid to the pot and heat over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the assorted pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with tamari. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Divide into bowls and garnish with a tablespoon of coconut cream. Top with parsley and sprinkle with fresh pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.
- Placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this pumpkin soup will keep for three days.
- For more flavor, add this:
- Thai Red Curry - Sauté 2 tablespoons of red curry paste in ½ tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes until really fragrant, then add it to the recipe.
- Ginger - Sauté 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger in ½ tablespoon of oil, then proceed to the recipe.
- Cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika - stir in ½ teaspoon of each of the spices. Turmeric, cilantro, and cayenne pepper - stir in 1 ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric and cilantro and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- If the soup is too sweet, try to balance the flavors with other tastes:
- Acidic ingredients - 1 teaspoon of lemon, apple cider vinegar, or white vinegar)
- Bitter ingredients - 1 ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric to retain color.
- Spicy ingredients - hot sauce, chili peppers, or ground dried peppers. If none of that works, double the recipe (without the sweet ingredient, of course).
- If the soup seems too runny during cooking, increase the heat so that the excess moisture evaporates. Do not leave it on high heat for too long: the soup thickens as it cools. Other solutions to thicken it involve adding a powdered thickener like flour, corn or potato starch, arrowroot, guar gum, or xanthan ... This also makes it possible to obtain a smooth result. If it is still too runny, add pasta, rice, tapioca, or potatoes to absorb the excess liquid.
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