Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup

coconut curry pumpkin soup /

Soup was probably the reason I started cooking… and at first, it was just a Sunday thing. Weekday cooking didn’t stand a chance. After a hectic work day, I wanted nothing but to sit down at a restaurant and have someone bring me food. But on lazy Sunday afternoons, I started to enjoy the peaceful process of chopping and stirring (with a glass of red wine nearby)… and all the warm fuzzy feelings that come with making soup. To me, Sunday soup making became the calm before the storm… a necessary rejuvenating time before a new crazy week would begin.

Pumpkin (or butternut squash) soup can go a whole bunch of directions. I personally love it Thai-spiced. Red curry is one of my favorite things… mixed with creamy coconut. This time I experimented with lime leaves. I used them as I would bay leaves (taking them out before I blended the soup together). I found that they added a nice brightness, although I realize they’re not always easy to find. I’ve seen them lately at my specialty markets, but I wouldn’t necessarily go hunting for them… if you have to look too hard, just leave them out. It’ll still be great.

serves 6-8, freezes well

approx. 3.5 cups of pumpkin (or butternut squash), skin and seeds removed
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic (I add them whole, the blender will do the work later)
3 lime leaves (or a bit of lemongrass, or omit)
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1-2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 can coconut milk, light or full fat, either is fine
4 cups veggie broth
1/4 cup maple syrup
pinch of cayenne
salt, pepper

(sometimes I toss in some sautéed kale or other greens)

Roast the pumpkin. (you can do this step in advance). I find pumpkins difficult to cut into so I start by softening mine in the oven. Place whole pumpkin in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove it from the oven and when it’s cool enough to touch slice it in to quarters. Drizzle the quarters with olive oil, salt and pepper, and continue roasting in the oven for 35-50 minutes until the flesh is really soft. (time will depend on the size of your pumpkin(s). Remove from the oven. Let cool and scoop out the seeds and guts. Scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skin and set aside until you’re ready for it to go into the soup.

In a large pot over medium heat, heat the coconut oil. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and translucent and add garlic cloves lime leaves, curry paste and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 more minutes.

Add the pumpkin and mix everything together. Let the pumpkin cook few more minutes, breaking apart the larger pieces with your wooden spoon or spatula. Before things start sticking to the bottom of your pot, add the coconut milk and the veggie broth. Add the maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lime leaves and pour the soup into a high speed blender (you may have to work in batches), and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.

optional: Serve with extra coconut milk and a few more pinches of cayenne.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. What a gorgeous photo and delicious soup full of flavor and nutrition!

  2. We definitely love Sunday afternoon soup making, too! Since it’s just my husband (Mr. Lemon!) and I, we often freeze extras for weekday nights when we just want something quick. This recipe sounds fantastic! We’ll be adding it to our list!

    • jeanine from on said:

      Oh yes, and it freezes perfectly – I love having the leftovers around for easy healthy lunches.

  3. sara forte from on said:

    I made something similar last night with some red lentils in it as well. I love the idea of it being thinner, like yours, and oh! some lemongrass. Sounds delicious. Can’t wait to try.

    • jeanine from on said:

      I think I saw your instagram of that yesterday 🙂

  4. kari on said:

    making this tonight! i need to keep using all the squash i cannot help but keep purchasing but i am ready for something like this with thai spices! i have this really interesting curry smelling herb growing in the yard, i think it is called a curry plant and i want to throw it into the soup to see what happens. i have yet to use it and it has been growing for years!

    • jeanine from on said:

      I’ve never heard of a curry plant… but that sounds sort of fascinating!

  5. Erin from on said:

    I made some nearly similar a few weeks back but now I’m going to have to make it again and try adding some lemon grass- sounds delicious!

  6. looks just like some soup i made a few weeks ago too! I also love the thai flavors in my soups. we make a huge batch and i have about 4 servings frozen for lazy cooking weeks (or maybe the week after thanksgiving, when I need to keep it light and simple!).

    • jeanine from on said:

      I just love to freeze the leftovers… I’ll also probably be soup-ing it up after all of the Thanksgiving indulging!

  7. Kathryn from on said:

    Such lovely flavours in this and such beautiful pictures.

  8. maia on said:

    This sounds excellent! Sunday soups are wonderful – you can leisurely enjoy them the day of, and later in the week enjoy the leftovers. By then the flavours are often even more full and you can enjoy an extra half hour to an hour of putting up your feet instead of cooking dinner.

    • jeanine from on said:

      It is always better the second day!

  9. Cat from on said:

    Jeanine, I just wanted to say how much I love your website. It is so elegant, simple and eye-catching! And your photography is exquisite! Beautiful! Oh, and the food looks divine! I think I am going to have to include this wonderful soup in my repertoire!

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Cat, thank you! You’re so kind 🙂

  10. I make a similar soup, but really like your variations. Pumpkin soup is a wonderful canvas, so easily adaptable to seasonality, availability and tweaks based on personal tastes.

    • jeanine from on said:

      It really is a canvas – I make a lot of pumpkin soups and I like to change it up a little bit every time…

  11. oooh I’m obsessed with curry in soup at the moment. Love this one!

  12. Bethany from on said:

    Oh wow this looks GREAT. Pinning to try this winter!

  13. Allyn from on said:

    I made this last night with a butternut squash I picked up from the farmers market a few weeks ago and it was so delicious that I nearly licked the bowl.

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  16. Katy on said:

    Late to the party, I know, but I made this last night with carrots instead of pumpkin (and a few other small adjustments) and it was awesome! I just threw them in chopped up with the coconut milk and cooked until soft (no roasting). Also, just an FYI, not all curry pastes are vegetarian/vegan; mine from Mae Ploy contains shrimp paste. Thanks for the excellent and beautiful site!

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  18. Mariah on said:

    Nommmmm! I made this tonight with lemongrass. I ran out of red curry paste while I was working with it, so I didn’t measure, just added it in. I also put 1 tbsp of sambal oelek in there, it was too spicy so I added another can of coconut milk trying to compensate. Then, on a whim, I added a spoonful of peanut butter to my own bowl (it was too spicy for my family). The pb makes all the difference in the world! A little added savory/yum to it!

  19. Delicious picture and recipe for this time of the year! I love the idea of combining pumpkins and coconut milk. Thanks again for the inspiration 🙂

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  23. Millie from on said:

    Coconut and pumpkin in one recipe?!? Sounds like my idea of heaven – will definitely be making this when the weather gets colder 🙂

  24. Michelle on said:

    Wowza! I just made this soup for dinner and it is absolutely delicious! Thanks so much for sharing such a great recipe! I’ve been on the hunt for a great curried coconut squash soup and I can say for certain that i’ve now found it! Going to try this again soon with other variations 🙂

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  28. Crista from on said:

    currently craving….

  29. Courtney on said:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve been making this recipe for about a year now and it’s our absolute favorite. When I failed to bookmark the recipe, I freaked (as did my husband) because I thought the recipe had been lost forever. Thank you, Love and Lemons!

    • jeanine from on said:

      ha, so glad it’s your favorite!!

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  33. Sarah on said:

    Just made this soup and it tastes delicious but is way too hot for my liking! I could have done with half the amount of red curry paste at least. Any tips on how to cool it down lol

    • Alice on said:

      I made this soup and is absolutely delicious. I cannot eat nothing too hot so I take the curry off and it taste fantastic. This soup its gonna be one of my favorites. Thanks for your healthy, simple and delicious recipes.

  34. Sarah on said:

    Just made this soup and it tastes delicious but is way too hot for my liking! I could have done with half the amount of red curry paste at least. Any tips on how to cool it down lol

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  42. Charlotte on said:

    Thanks Jeanine for the recipe! I just tried it for lunch and the combination of pumpkin, coconut milk, and curry is just great! Can you give me a tip: My soup went slightly too spicy cause I added one dried little chili. I only know to add more milk or water, but I don’t want the soup to become more watery. Any idea/tip? Greetings, Charlotte

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Charlotte, vinegar counteracts spice (you have to add it little by little so your food doesn’t come out too vinegar-y)… here I might try a little splash of white wine or rice vinegar. (If it gets too tangy, add a little more sweetness to balance). Hope that helps! I have a way of often over-spicing my soups too 🙂

      • Charlotte on said:

        Thanks a lot!

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  44. Emily on said:

    Delicious! I made these adjustments:

    -used cashew milk instead of coconut (it was on super sale at Grocery Outlet) and I used about TWICE as much as the recipe called for.
    -used HALF the red curry paste, and it was plennnty spicy.
    -used canned pumpkin puree; I used 3 cups of it (could have used more, especially since I added more milk), and put it into the mixture after about 15 minutes of simmering, then simmered for about 10 more minutes. Worked great.

    Warms your whole body. Looking forward to freezing and having it for months to come! Thanks.

  45. Kendra on said:

    Hi there, quick question — I find that the maple syrup makes the soup a bit sweet for my taste but – too late – I added it and am ready to serve it to 15 people tomorrow! Any thoughts on how to cut the sweetness? Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    • jeanine from on said:

      Hi Kendra, I’d try adding extra salt (if it’s not too salty already) & pepper (a little at a time) to taste to help balance the sweet. If the soup thickens in the fridge overnight, stir in some water to think it a little and that’ll help dilute the flavors a bit. Also, be sure to taste again tomorrow – I find that flavors develop after the soup sits which may tame the sweetness. (And/or if it’s not too coconutty, you could stir in more coconut milk, if it’s not too spicy, you could stir in more curry). Hope this helps!

      • Kendra on said:

        Wow. Thank you SO much for getting back to me so quickly with these excellent tips! The soup is so delicious already. I will taste it again tomorrow to see if I actually need to put the tips to use. By the way, your website is so beautiful — I visit it often. Thanks again!

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  48. Christine on said:

    When you put the pumpkin in the oven to soften it, what temperature should you set the oven to?

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  50. Michael on said:

    Very good. I couldn’t find the recipe that I used a few years ago, but my wife thought this one was even better. I made the following changes:
    – I used part of a large fairytale pumpkin that I had baked and pureed. I had extra pumpkin juice from cooking and straining the rest of the pumpkin, so I used that instead of vegetable broth. Some of the juice had caramelized when baking the pumpkin, so it added some sweet and caramel flavors.
    – I omitted the maple syrup because the pumpkin was on the sweet side already.
    – I added Thai fish sauce to taste, generally 2-4 tbsp for this size soup, to add additional umami.

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  53. Shelley on said:

    What size can of coconut milk do you use? I used a 400 ml can and it seemed like too much. All the flavour was lost. Do you use a 200 ml can?

    • Hi Shelley, I used a 400ml can, you could go with half if you wanted less coconut flavor (I personally really like coconut)l.

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