Ah, fall, a perfect time for a spiced pumpkin soup! This soup comes together quickly, and has warm notes of ginger, curry, cumin, coriander, and black pepper. Great flavor additions that enhance, not detract, from the pumpkin.
What gives the soup its heat? Not chile peppers this time, but some freshly minced ginger. I love the zing ginger brings to the soup. (If it's too much for you, just scale back.)
This recipe is a major upgrade from a soup we posted in 2006. I was never quite satisfied with that soup. This one nails it. If you liked the original, I think you'll love the new and improved version! (BTW, you can still find the original on the Internet Archive here.
How to Pick the Best Pumpkin for Cooking
When autumn leaves start changing color, a plethora of pumpkins start appearing in the produce section and our farmers markets. But what's the best type of pumpkin for cooking? You'll want to use sugar pumpkins (sometimes also called pie or sweet pumpkins), which are small and round. You can also substitute kobocha pumpkins, Long Island cheese pumpkins or even butternut squash for this recipe.
Look for unblemished gourds that are heavy for their size. The stem should be withered and intact (it shows that it aged on the vine), and the skin should be free of bruises and hard all around.
Whole pumpkins can be stored in a cool dry place for weeks, until ready to cook.
How to Choose Fresh Ginger
We may sometimes call ginger a root, but it is actually a rhizome. It's sold by a pound in the produce section usually near garlic and onions. Look for ginger with firm, thin skin. It should not look dried out or fibrous, and should not have any soft spots. When you bring it up to your nose, it should smell spicy.
Here are some tips on how to store fresh ginger.
How to Cook Pumpkin: Our Tips and Tricks!
- Be sure to line your pan with aluminum foil or parchment before baking your pumpkins for easy clean up.
- Save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds!
- Pierce the pumpkin with a fork to check for done-ness. A fork should easily go through the soft, cooked flesh.
- Cool the pumpkin completely before scooping out the flesh.
- Freeze in one- or two-cup portions in freezer-safe ziptiop bags for easy use later.
- Have too much pumpkin left? Try another one of our pumpkin recipes!
Swaps and Substitutions
- If you don't have any fresh ginger on hand, you can use dried ginger powder instead.
- For ease, use canned pumpkin instead of fresh. Just be sure you're using 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie pumpkin, which is pre-seasoned.
- This recipe will work with other autumn squashes, like butternut squash or even kobocha squash puree.
- If you don't like curry powder or any of the other spices, feel free to replace with other spices you like, or just leave out.
- For a dairy-free option, replace the heavy cream and yogurt with coconut cream (which is thicker than coconut milk, but coconut milk will also work just fine).
- For a vegetarian recipe, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
How to Store and Reheat Pumpkin Soup
It's best to store this soup after puréeing, before adding the heavy cream. Stop at that point, and cool the soup to room temperature. You can then store the soup for three to five days in the refrigerator or for about three months in the freezer.
Best to defrost the pumpkin soup in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. But if you didn't plan ahead, you can defrost the soup in the microwave in two-minute bursts. Break up the soup into slush and making sure it's liquid enough. Then, reheat the soup by warming it gently in a heavy bottomed pot over low heat, stirring occasionally until it's piping hot. Stir in heavy cream at the end, just before serving.
More Fall-Inspired Soups and Stews to Try!
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup With Smoked Paprika
- Potato Leek Soup
- Creamy Kabocha Squash Stew
- Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
Curry Pumpkin Soup
To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lay face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, then scoop out the flesh. Purée in a food processor. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion
2 cloves (about 2 teaspoons) garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Small pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
4 cups low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 (15-ounce) cans 100% pumpkin or 3 1/2 cups homemade pumpkin purée (see recipe notes)
1 cup water
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Yogurt, for garnish
Toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
- Immersion blender
Sauté the onions, garlic, ginger, and spices:
Melt butter in a large (5 to 6 quart), thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and ginger, and cook another minute.
Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add stock, bay leaves, and pumpkin purée:
Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, pumpkin purée, and water. Stir to combine. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add more stock or water to thin it to a consistency you like.
Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and carefully remove the bay leaves. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup.
Stir in the cream:
Right before serving, stir in the cream. Add black pepper and adjust seasonings to taste. Add more salt, if necessary.
When ready to serve, portion out into bowls. Drizzle with plain yogurt that has been thinned with a little water. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||18%|
|Total Carbohydrate 23g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 6g||21%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 10mg||51%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|