As the cool, autumn air settles in, soup becomes a staple on our tables. What better way to usher in the season than to feature America's favorite fall fruit — the pumpkin! This recipe for pumpkin soup is a savory choice that can pair perfectly with virtually any holiday meal. For those wanting to give their guests pumpkin to talk about, check out this delicious pumpkin soup recipe and the added alternatives. They are too gourd to have just one bowl!
Savory Pumpkin Soup Recipe
This recipe for pumpkin soup is perfect to pair with salads, sandwiches, or a formal turkey dinner. It will yield four small cups of soup. If you want a heartier helping, we recommend doubling the recipe.
- 2 pounds of peeled and seeded pumpkin, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced thinly and cleaned
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups vegetable stock (or pumpkin stock made from pumpkin guts)
- Salt & pepper to taste
In order to ensure that your pumpkin chunks cook consistently, cut the cubes to approximately the same size. If they vary, some will be undercooked and others will be overcooked, which will affect the overall flavor and texture of your soup.
- In a large pot, heat the oil.
- Add the leeks and garlic.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks become soft.
- Add the spices and cook for a minute or two until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the pumpkin, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust your spices accordingly.
- Serve and garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh thyme, sour cream, or dried apple slices.
If you don't have an immersion blender, use your food processor or blender, taking care to let steam escape as you blend. If you don't have any of these, grab a potato masher to break apart the pumpkin and then use a large, heavy whisk to smooth out your soup.
Pumpkin Soup Recipe Substitutions
Let's be honest. We all have good intentions when it comes to putting any recipe together. Sadly, many of us find that when it is time to prepare the dish, we're either out of a certain ingredient or the one we have has gone bad. No need to worry, though. This pumpkin soup recipe can endure a handful of substitutions without skimping on the signature, savory flavor!
- Pumpkin: Replace with butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or other winter squash varieties at a 1:1 ratio.
- Leeks: Potatoes or sweet onions can be a simple substitution. Since one large leek typically equals one cup, aim for two cups of diced potatoes or sweet onion.
- Heavy Cream: Mix six tablespoons of regular milk and 2 tablespoons of melted butter to replace the cream
- Cumin: Substitute with ground coriander at a 2:1 ratio
- Ginger: Swap with turmeric, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, or nutmeg at a 1:1 ratio. These spices will provide a very similar flavor, but not the exact same taste as the ginger.
Pumpkin Soup Recipe Variations
If you are looking to combine more flavors or pump up the protein in this dish, these are some easy options to add.
If you are hoping to make this soup the main dish in your meal, adding in cannellini beans is a fine choice. Better yet, this addition does not change your prep time. All you need is a can of these white kidney beans. Drain and rinse them in a colander. Then, follow the pumpkin soup recipe above, as directed. Add in the beans about twenty minutes into your simmer.
Apple Ginger Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Apple is another appealing choice to add to this dish. To add apples to your soup, you'll need a baking sheet, nonstick spray, one large granny smith apple, and a dash of olive oil.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Apply non-stick spray to your baking sheet.
- Core the apple and slice it into wedges.
- Evenly lay the apple slices on your baking sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until soft.
Once the apples are ready, follow the original pumpkin soup recipe, adding in your apples when the broth is done simmering, but before you puree.
For a little extra kick, you can also add ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to this recipe right before blending the ingredients.
Pumpkin Up Your Meal
Everybody ends their holiday meals with a pumpkin dessert, but pumpkin can also serve as a savory starter on your menu! This recipe for pumpkin soup adds some warm spice to your table without overpowering the main dish. And for those who want a quick side for another date, you have the option of making this soup ahead of time and freezing it. When you use vacuum seal bags, you can portion out what you need and then heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop later.