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Quick and easy pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup is one of those recipes that really needs no introduction. I’d wager most people have tried it at some point - super healthy and comforting – but if you haven’t you should give it a go for a quick and simple no fuss dinner!

Sometimes simplicity trumps - and this pumpkin soup is one of those instances. It needs only four ingredients in its simplest form (pumpkin, onion, stock, cream), although I like to big it up a little bit with some nutmeg and chives.

What you need to make Pumpkin Soup

You'll need:

  • A large pan to make the soup
  • A stick blender, blender or food processor to

This is a foundation recipe for Pumpkin Soup

Perhaps one of the best things about this soup recipe is that it’s a foundational recipe - you can easily change it to put your own spin on it and suit your tastes.

Here’s some ideas for you:

  • Cook with carrots and fennel for extra vegetables.
  • Roast all the vegetables before adding the stock which will bring out a different taste.
  • Add your favourite spices, curry pastes or curry powders.

And, to take pumpkin soup towards another cuisine, you could:

  • Thai: Fry off 2-3 tbsp of some green or red Thai curry paste at the start of the recipe and rather than water to thin out, use coconut milk or coconut cream. Don't use cream or nutmeg.

  • Indian: Add some Indian spices to the soup, such as 1.5 tsp ground cumin, 1.5 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp turmeric and chilli flakes or powder to taste after you’ve blended the soup. Don't add the nutmeg.

  • Italian: Fry the onion in some oil, then add 2 cloves of garlic before adding the pumpkin and stock.

  • Greek: Add two or three roasted red peppers (capsicum) when the pumpkin is soft. Garnish with crumbled feta and parsley rather than the chives. Don't add the nutmeg or cream.

  • Mexican: Slowly fry the onion in some oil without colouring it, and when tender add 2 tsp each of cumin and smoked paprika. Add the stock and pumpkin, and cook. After blending, add a 400g can of drained corn, and a 400g can of drained and rinsed black beans. Replace the chive garnish with tortilla chips, avocado and freshly diced tomato. Replace the cream with sour cream, and don't use the nutmeg. Get the recipe here.

Pumpkin soup ingredients

  • Pumpkin, the star of our show today. My preference is to use butternut squash, but any good eating pumpkin should work well. Don’t use a decorative pumpkin like what you’d use for a Jack O’ Lantern.
  • Stock – vegetable or chicken stock. Powdered stock is usable but ideally get a decent carton of stock or use some freshly made stock.
  • Onion brings a little sweetness and a good amount of savouriness to the dish
  • Cream serves two purposes – it thickens the soup slightly and brings some richness. It’s also nice to add a little bit to each bowl when you serve it.
  • Spices – salt, pepper and nutmeg. Use these to taste. Ground nutmeg is fine if that’s all you have but you’ll get a better result by grating fresh nutmeg. Use salt and pepper to season to taste.
  • Chives – used to garnish at the end.

How to make Pumpkin Soup

  1. Cut the pumpkin into large dice and slice the onion.

  2. Add the pumpkin and onion to a large pot and bring to the boil. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.

  3. When the pumpkin is tender, remove from the heat and blend using a stick blender, food processor or blender.

  4. If needed, return to the boil and adjust consistency by reducing or adding some water to thin it out. When you're happy with the soup consistency, remove from the heat.

  5. Stir through the cream and then add the salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

How can I thicken or thin the soup?

To get the soup to your desired consistency, you can boil it longer to reduce it, or add a little more water to thin it out.

Are there any alternatives to cream?

You can leave the cream out if you would rather not eat it, or you could use Greek yoghurt. If you choose to use the yoghurt, be aware that it can split at high temperatures, so I suggest removing the soup from the heat and allowing it to cool slightly before adding the yoghurt to it - or just put a dollop of yoghurt into bowls when you serve.

As a dairy free alternative, you can make a cornstarch slurry with 3 tbsp of cornflour and and 3 tbsp water. Cornflour will only thicken at high temperatures, so after blending the soup you’ll need to return it to the pot and bring back to the boil. Slowly add the slurry into your soup while whisking until it reaches your desired consistency.

I don’t have a blender? Can I make this soup?

You can use a food processor, blender or stick / immersion blender to smooth the soup once the pumpkin is soft. If you don’t have any of these available, finely diced the onion and halve the amount of stock - watch the pumpkin closely while it cooks, add a little more stock as needed until the pumpkin is soft. Use a potato masher or fork to puree the pumpkin before adding the remaining stock.

The texture won’t be as good as if you pureed it properly, but it's still a good soup!

How to reheat and store leftovers?

Reheat in the microwave or on the stove over a low heat – if using the stove, you might need to add a little water to account for evaporation.

The soup will keep in the fridge for 4 days and will freeze for at least 3 months. It freezes well but the cream might split – for this reason if you know you’re going to make it to freeze, I’d suggest omitting the cream and adding that when you defrost and serve it.

What to serve with pumpkin soup

Here’s some ideas on what to serve with pumpkin soup:

  • Toasted cheese sandwich – it's a classic soup pairing for a reason
  • Crusty bread – perfect for dunking!
  • Garlic bread

Pumpkin Soup

Unrated
Prep Cook Total
5 mins 15 mins 20 mins
Serves 5-6
Classic for a reason, this is a fast and easy pumpkin soup that's sure to be comforting when the soup craving strikes.
  • 1.5kg pumpkin, peeled and seeded, diced use any eating pumpkin, see note 1
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) cream
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chives, to garnish, optional
Steps
  1. Add vegetables and stock - to a large pot, add the pumpkin, onion and stock. Bring to the boil and cook, covered for 15-20 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.
  2. Blend using a stick blender, food processor or blender. Make sure you get all the lumps so you end up with a soup that's uniform in texture.
  3. Return to the boil if needed and adjust soup thickness by adding water or further reducing the soup.
  4. Add cream and spices - remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Stir through the cream and then add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and adjust according to taste.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of cream in the bowl and with chopped chives to garnish.
Notes
  1. Pumpkin - I like to use butternut squash, but use whichever eating pumpkin you like.
  2. Roasting pumpkin - it's common to roast the pumpkin which brings out the natural sweetness and develops some caramel taste. If you want to do this, after peeling and deseeding the pumpkin, cut into cubes and toss in some oil and place in a 200C oven for 30-40 minutes. Turn half way through cooking. You won't need to boil the soup because the pumpkin is already thick, so once the stock comes to the boil you can blend it. You might want to reduce it for a while to bring the soup to your desired thickness.
  3. Leftovers - keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for about 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or over a low heat in a pan.
  4. No blender? You can get a reasonable result by halving the stock and finely dicing the onion. Once the pumpkin is tender, using a potato masher to mash the pumpkin before adding the rest of the stock.

Hey, I'm Sam! Welcome to The Aproneer.

I created The Aproneer to share the recipes that my family and friends love to eat.

Here you'll find a mixture of tried and tested family favourites, great entertaining options and a variety of authentic international dishes.