Creamy and Comforting Pumpkin Soup

Our shih tzu gets a special treat a couple of times a month, in order to add some variation to her typical diet of dried dog food.

Vertical top-down image of a bowl of orange soup with seeds and herbs on top with text on the top and bottom of the image.

What does she get? Boiled chicken and rice!

Needless to say, I end up with what seems like gallons of chicken stock that reside in the freezer, and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes, or inventing new ones to use it up.

Vertical close-up image of seeds on top of an orange liquid in a gray bowl next to a white towel.

I’ve had an abundance of an early variety of kabocha squash from the garden that I’m putting to use – beautiful timing, right?

Kabocha is a green Asian pumpkin, and it’s similar in texture to a butternut squash. Some varieties can get very large.

Vertical top-down image of a bowl of orange liquid garnished with toasted seeds, herbs, and black pepper.

I recently concocted this pumpkin soup recipe to use up both my kabocha and my chicken stock horde, based off my memory of the soups I’ve tried in several French bistro-style restaurants.

It’s a nice direction to take if you’re a bit tired of the traditional pumpkin pie route.

Vertical image of two gray bowls of soup garnished with seeds and herbs with onions in the background.

You can easily double this recipe and keep some leftovers – this soup is similar to a good chili or a hearty pot of beans, in that it gets better with age.

Well, at least for a while… if green mold starts to develop, definitely toss it!

Vertical top-down image of two bowls of soup garnished with toasted seeds and herbs on a white towel next to metal spoons.

The entire family loved this creamy recipe. It became an instant success and a huge favorite for both the grownups and the kids.

It works better as side dish rather than the main meal for most families, but if you aren’t the typical American who must have meat with each meal (unlike all the hungry men and boys in my family!) this could be the primary course. For a vegetarian version, swap out the chicken stock for vegetable. You might also like to try experimenting with cashew cream to replace the dairy for a vegan option.

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Horizontal image of two gray bowls with orange liquid with a garnish of toasted seeds, herbs, and black pepper.

Creamy and Comforting Pumpkin Soup


  • Author: Lynne Jaques
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Make this creamy and comforting pumpkin soup you can adapt with your favorite flavorings and different types of winter squash.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree (2 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the garlic, and saute for 1 minute more.
  2. Add the stock, pumpkin puree, and herbs. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes until slightly thickened.
  3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, countertop blender, or food processor.
  4. Strain the soup through a chinois or fine mesh strainer into a clean large saucepan, then return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.
  5. Slowly add the cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in the salt and pepper, adding more to taste.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with pumpkin seeds and herbs, and serve warm.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: pumpkin, pumpkin puree, soup, pumpkin soup

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Saute the Onions

Horizontal image of a sauce pot with sauteed onions and garlic next to whole onions and garlic on a white towel.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the garlic, and saute for a minute more, just until the garlic is fragrant, but not burned.

Don’t be afraid to allow the onion to brown in some spots – the caramelization adds a delicious depth of flavor that you’ll love the taste of.

Step 2 – Add the Other Ingredients

Horizontal image of a dark orange liquid with ingredients mixed into it on a white towel.

Add the vegetable or chicken stock, pumpkin puree, and herbs. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes until slightly thickened.

You can certainly use an equal amount of freshly pureed pumpkin for this recipe, or your favorite pureed winter squash.

Acorn and butternut squashes (and probably some other heirloom squash varieties as well) make for excellent substitutes for the pumpkin. Look into other winter squash, and how to prep and cook them.

Step 3 – Puree

Horizontal image of an immersion blender over a pot with thick orange liquid on a white towel.

Once the soup has cooked for 30 minutes, puree it.

While blending the pumpkin, make use of a portable blender (i.e. an immersion blender). Simply place it straight into the cooking pot, rather than shifting all of the ingredients back and forth to your food processor or stationary blender.

You can also use a premium blender or a food processor – just be sure to work in small batches to avoid any spills. And avoid scorched skin!

Step 4 – Strain

Horizontal image of a mesh strainer straining orange solids into a pot with orange liquid.

Strain the soup through a mesh strainer into a clean saucepan of the same large size, pushing the soup down with a spoon. All of the soup will probably not fit in the strainer or chinois at once, so work in small batches for this step.

Discard any solids that remain in the strainer.

Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 5 – Add the Cream and Seasonings

Horizontal image of heavy cream stirred into an orange liquid in a pot.

Slowly add the cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

You can reduce, or even eliminate, the heavy whipping cream in this recipe if you like. For lower calorie fare, you can completely skip it, add just a small amount, or switch to a light cream or half and half. For a different taste, you can also substitute sour cream, crème fraiche, or even coconut milk for a non-dairy option.

Remove the soup from the heat, and add the salt and pepper to taste. I actually prefer to crush salt and whole black peppercorns – get the best mills out there!

Step 6 – Serve

Horizontal image of a gray bowl with orange soup with garnishes, surrounded by onions and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Ladle the soup into four bowls, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and herbs, and serve warm with fresh, crusty bread on the side. Enjoy!

An Adaptable Recipe with Many Possibilities

Don’t be afraid to play with the spices – this recipe is my base version, the start of a range of flavor profiles. This is one of those pumpkin recipes that can be given a different flair with whatever kind of taste you’re going for.

Horizontal image of two gray bowls with orange liquid with a garnish of toasted seeds, herbs, and black pepper.

For a more Indian or Thai flavor, try adding some red curry along with a little red pepper, and perhaps a dash of ginger, either powdered or freshly minced.

For another spin on an Asian-style taste, add just a little sweetener, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar or 5 tablespoons of honey, a touch of ginger, and some dried jujubes (the fruit – not the candy), and make it thicker with a little rice flour.

Whatever you decide, however you season it, let me know what you do! Leave me a message in the comments below, and rate my recipe as well after you try it.

For more delicious pureed veggie soups, try these:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 12, 2014. Last updated: February 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

29 thoughts on “Creamy and Comforting Pumpkin Soup”

  1. I have never heard of pumpkin soup before and sounds like it would be a tasty dish to try. I do love Pumpkin pie, so I can easily bet this will taste just as delicious as the pie does! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • I love a hearty soup during the cold winter months. When it’s warm out though, I need something lighter, and usually soups are not that.

      • I love soup during the winter. It’s my go-to dish. I’ve never thought about making pumpkin soup, it’s different but it sounds really good. I might have to try making this sometime. Looks creamy and the recipe looks easy enough.

  2. My family and I are generally not big fans of soup, but I think this particular one looks delicious. The aesthetics of this dish with the parsley looks amazing. It also seems that this dish isn’t terribly complicated and time-consuming to make, besides the 90 minute wait for the pumpkin.

  3. This looks like such a good recipe! genuinely can’t wait to have a go making it! It will be good to see what my other half thinks to it, as the only other time we had pumpkin soup, he didn’t like it. I might not tell him what it is and just see! hehe.

  4. My mind must be playing games on me, for a moment there i thought i could smell pumpkin soup wafting in my window, never thought one could make soup, scrumptious at that {yet to try that recipe, am a firm believer it will be delicious}, out of a pumpkin, my, the things, the ideas and art that one can draw up inside a kitchen are immense and at the same time superbly awesome

  5. I can only buy pumpkins around Halloween where I live, I usually make a soup after the kids have cut out what they want to make lanterns. My recipe is a lot more bland though, I just garnish with salt and pepper usually.
    Great recipe with some interesting herbs, thanks.

    • The wonderful thing about winter squashes is that they store so well. So, load up while they are on sale. In the store, I love the small baking pumpkins for flavor.

      Or, try growing some yourself! My favorite garden variety is the beautiful gray-green jarruhale variety…SO delicious!

      Finally, if you add a baked sweet potato or two, that will add sweetness to your jack-o-lantern type pumpkin.

      Hope you find many yummy fall-inspired meals in your future!

  6. I absolutely love pumpkin soup, and this recipe sounds like a good one to try. My favorite recipe is to use coconut milk and curry flavorings topped with some whipped coconut cream and a little brown sugar. My daughter will eat it that way, as it makes it a bit sweet. I generally use canned organic pumpkin, but am attempting to grow pumpkins in the garden right now, hopefully I’ll be able to try this from scratch!

  7. Pumpkin soup was a surprise during my wedding! A lot of guests loved it than usual cream of mushroom or baked potato soup. I would want to try it coconut milk, peanut butter, and cilantro to add twist!

  8. I am a *huge* fan of pumpkin, but I just realized I’ve never made a pumpkin soup! I’ve used a hollowed out pumpkin as a soup tureen, but never actual pumpkin soup.

    We have soup often as the main meal. Is that not a common thing? We have soup about twice a week, easily, I love making huge pots of hearty, steamy soup. I just serve with some crusty bread and some fruit, and call it good. I had no idea that wasn’t normal! Haha. Oh well. Big surprise! 😛

  9. I’m happy to see a pumpkin soup recipe that doesn’t have “pumpkin spice” in it. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of nutmeg, and I fail to see how one thing got so associated to the other. I’ll check out the recipe, though I’ll probably use butternut squash instead. I like it much better than pumpkin anyway.

    • I’ve never had pumpkin soup, although I do like pumpkin, and I’d like to try this, but for me not much can beat butternut squash.

  10. I have never eaten pumpkin soup, but I must say it does look delicious. I don’t know if I’ll try the recipe myself, but maybe I can coax my daughter into making it for me this Christmas.

  11. I’ve always been afraid to try pumpkin soup because I’m a big texture-person, and it doesn’t seem… good in that area. But I’m willing to try anything once!

  12. It’s officially fall! That means pumpkin and butternut squash soup 🙂 I will have to make some soon. I’ve never made it before so I’m excited to give it a try. I love the sweetness and hints of spices of pumpkin soup.

  13. I love pumpkin and wait all year for this season just to eat pumpkin any way I can 🙂
    Your soup recipe looks yummy. I’ll surely give it a try! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  14. I am a huge soup fan but not really in love with heavier creamy soups. I love the tip about cutting back on the whipping cream. In addition to cutting the creaminess of the soup it will also reduce calories. I am definitely going to give this recipe a try because it is the first I have seen for a lighter pumpkin soup.

  15. I love pumpkin soup, especially in the fall!!! My mom used to cook it for us kids with noodles and squash. It brings so many good memories. Anyway, I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve never had this soup with whipping cream or thyme before. So, this should be an interesting way to spice up this dish for my family.

  16. Be careful when blending hot soups. Keep a hand on the lid of the blender to keep it from blowing off with all the hot air pressure that builds up in the blender. Trust me. I lost most of my soup, and made a huge mess of lentil soup all over my kitchen. Plus, I got burned. If you have the kind of lid that has a center that pops out, you can take that out, and just drape a dish towel over the hole so the hot soup doesn’t splatter. Also a handheld mixer works ok, but won’t get the smoothness that a blender can.

    • Good point. It is very easy to spill liquids when blending, and especially dangerous when hot. When making soups I would spend the chunky ingredients such as vegetables and add to the liquid/powder ingredients. Usually comes out pretty smooth at the end.

  17. Pumpkin soup I would have never thought of pumpkin as a soup. I must admit when I first saw this I turned my nose up. The recipe sounds really good. I would give it a try, just to see how it taste. Of course the texture would play a factor in me actually liking it. I may surprise myself, and really like it. If not I can always depend on a slice of southern pumpkin pie to get my fix of autumn.

  18. This looks interesting – here in the UK, we only ever see pumpkins around Halloween so as a result, they are hardly ever cooked and served. The soup looks really hearty and filling and I’ll keep the recipe in mind for next Halloween!

  19. Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and I’m already craving pumpkin. I’m to pick up some canned and give this recipe a try, so by the Fall, I’ll have it perfected, as well as a few variations. I’ll probably use half and half, since I usually have that on hand, but I think if I were making this for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would probably step it up and use the whipping cream in your recipe.

  20. This soup is amazing! We had a variation of it a couple of years ago at our Halloween party. It was a slightly sweet soup, served with ginger snaps. I like this idea of cutting down on the fat by using less cream. I would highly recommend this recipe for your next Autumn get-together.

  21. This looks pretty tasty! Sadly I wasn’t able to make pumpkin soup this year on Halloween but I hope I can redeem myself on Thanksgiving. Thanks for your recipe, might try it out!

  22. This is a truly hearty meal especially for a cold day, which we have occasionally. I love any soup that has either chicken or pumpkin in it. I mostly use butternut which is common in my part of the world. My family are going to enjoy this meal. I know I can count on you for delicious new ideas. Thanks!

  23. It is winter time where I live and have a piping soup ready when it is freezing outside is on top of my list. Most winters I make sure that I have at least two different varieties frozen in my freezer. I like a selection to choose from but have never tried one made with pumpkin. This recipe looks amazing and I will definitely be trying it this weekend

  24. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Me and my family love soups and I always like to try different kinds.
    I have all the spices at home. The only thing I still need is pumpkin.

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