This creamy pumpkin soup recipe is the perfect dish for a cool fall night. Packed with warm curry flavor, it's comforting, nourishing, and delicious.
Is there anything more autumnal than creamy pumpkin soup? A few weekends back, Chicago was seeing its first fall weather of the year. The air was crisp, a few leaves were turning yellow and red, and Jack and I were making our traditional Sunday trip to the farmers market. When we got there, I caught sight of a massive kabocha squash with vibrant orange skin. As soon as I saw it, I knew how I was spending my afternoon. On a cool day like that, there’s nothing I love more than making a big pot of soup. I scooped up the shiny squash in front of me and started dreaming up a new pumpkin soup recipe on the spot.
Since then, Jack and I have eaten more than a few batches of this pumpkin soup, but we’re nowhere near tired of it. Thanks to the squash, it has a wonderfully thick and creamy texture. Coconut milk adds richness, and aromatic spices like turmeric, ginger, and cumin fill it with warm curry flavor. If the last few weeks are any indication, we’ll be making it often this season, and I hope you will be, too.
Pumpkin Soup Recipe Ingredients
If you’re a pumpkin purist, you might be wondering, “What’s all this about kabocha squash? Shouldn’t pumpkin soup be made with, well, pumpkin?” It’s a fair question. But here in the US, much of what we think of as pumpkin is actually just winter squash. That’s right! The canned pumpkin purée we bake into pies, quick bread, muffins, and bars is a hodgepodge of all kinds of winter squash. These squashes are sweeter and creamier than the pumpkins many of us carve each year, so they make for a tastier purée (and soup!).
That’s not to say that this recipe calls for canned pumpkin purée. In fact, whatever you do, don’t use the canned stuff. Fresh squash has a sweeter flavor and firmer texture; the soup wouldn’t be nearly as creamy or flavorful without it. I love making this pumpkin soup recipe with fresh kabocha squash, but it would also work well with any type of firm, sweet winter squash. Buttercup squash, Hubbard squash, red kuri squash, and even butternut squash would all be good choices. Once you’ve selected your pumpkin, you only need a few more ingredients to make this soup:
- Ginger, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and coriander – I love this combination of spices in my Easy Coconut Curry, and it works wonders in this pumpkin soup recipe, too. The spices fill it with warm, aromatic curry flavor.
- Onion and garlic – They add sharp depth of flavor.
- Coconut milk – It makes this soup rich and creamy without any heavy cream or dairy. Yep, this recipe is totally vegan and dairy-free!
- Apple cider vinegar – Its tangy flavor balances the squash’s sweetness.
Just grab some vegetable broth, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and you’re on your way to making pumpkin soup!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Pumpkin Soup
I like to think of this pumpkin soup recipe in three main parts: roast, simmer, and blend. Here’s how it goes:
First, roast the squash. Carefully chop it in half vertically, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Rub the cut side of the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place it cut-side-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Roast the squash in a 400° oven until it’s completely soft, about 50-60 minutes.
When the roasted squash is cool to the touch, peel away its skin and measure 4 1/2 packed cups of the soft pumpkin flesh.
Next up: simmer! In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion until it softens. Add the spices, garlic, and ginger, and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix in the measured squash flesh, broth, and coconut milk, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, and stir in the vinegar.
Finally, blend. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then, transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth (you could also use an immersion blender for this step!). The consistency will vary based on the water content of your squash, so if the soup is too thick, blend in water, 1/2 cup at a time, to reach your desired texture. Pour into bowls, and enjoy!
Creamy Pumpkin Soup Serving Suggestions
When you’re ready to eat, top your bowl with any garnishes you like. A drizzle of coconut milk, microgreens, toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds, chopped cilantro, and fresh black pepper are all wonderful on this soup. Crusty homemade croutons would be delicious, too!
Enjoy the soup on its own, with a hunk of crusty bread or homemade focaccia on the side, or make it part of a larger meal. I love to pair it with avocado toast, a dressed-up grilled cheese sandwich, or a hearty autumn salad like one of these:
- Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Farmhouse Farro Salad
- Pomegranate Salad with Cider Dressing
- Butternut Squash Salad
- Sweet Potato Salad
For more salad ideas, check out this post!
More Favorite Soup Recipes
If you love this pumpkin soup, try one of these delicious soup recipes next:
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
- Carrot Ginger Soup
- Best Lentil Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Creamy Potato Soup
- Or any of these 25 Best Soup Recipes!
- 1 (4-pound) pumpkin (kabocha squash is best)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, reserve a little for garnish
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Water, as needed
- microgreens, optional, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, until very soft. When cool to the touch, peel away the skin and measure 4½ packed cups of the flesh.
- Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cardamom and stir for 30 seconds, until the spices are aromatic. Add the cooked squash, coconut milk, and broth and stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes, then stir in the vinegar.
- Transfer to a blender, working in batches if necessary. Blend until smooth. Kabocha squash can vary in water content, so if your soup is too thick add up to 1½ cups water (½ cup at a time) to reach your desired consistency. Garnish with additional coconut milk, fresh black pepper, and microgreens, if desired.