Introducing our favorite pumpkin soup recipe: Pumpkin Curry Soup! Made with Thai red curry paste and coconut milk, this spicy pumpkin soup is vegan, gluten-free, paleo, and Whole 30 compliant. Plus, it's easy to make, super quick, and incredibly delicious!
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I tend to cozy up to comfort food in the dreary months, and making a big pot of delicious, warming, and nourishing soup is one of my favorite ways to do that.
I've got an exceptional soup to introduce you guys to today: Pumpkin Curry Soup, yo! It's:
- Made in one pot
- Made with real pumpkin
- Uses easy to find ingredients
- Spicy but not too spicy
- Full of good-for-you ingredients
- Totally vegan
- And the list goes on!
You'll find specific quantities in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but for now, here's a quick overview of what you'll need to make pumpkin curry soup:
- Pumpkin --> We'll talk about pumpkin varietals down below.
- Coconut milk --> Full-fat, please, and thank you.
- Red curry paste --> You can use a little or a lot.
- Onion, garlic, and fresh ginger --> Our flavour-making crew
- Veggie broth --> Store bought vegetable stock is perfectly fine. The cubes is how I roll.
- Cilantro --> I'm on team fresh cilantro, but you can leave it out if you can't deal.
- Lime juice --> For a little zing!
How to Make Pumpkin Curry Soup
As with the ingredients, you'll find specific instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. You can use the "jump to recipe" button to skip right on down, or, let's walk through it together with pictures.
First things first, let's get chopping! You'll want to start by cutting your pumpkin in half and scooping the seeds out. Then, slice the pumpkin into sections.
I find these sections are easier to slice the skin off of than trying to tackle peeling an entire pumpkin, but you can do whatever works for you. The goal is to have about 10 cups of cubed pumpkin when you're done.
Take the opportunity to chop your onion, crush your garlic, and grate your ginger now as well. Then you're ready to make some soup!
Now we're going to heat up some oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. I like to use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven for making soups like this one. Onions, garlic, and ginger go into the pot and get all sweaty and slightly brown. Just a light tan, if you know what I mean.
Then you're going to add your cubed pumpkin. Give it a stir and let it hang out with the onions and garlic for a minute or two to let their flavors combine, and then add your vegetable broth.
It should just barely cover the pumpkin (see photo above). I also like to add the curry paste now because I want the flavour to get into the pumpkin as much as possible.
Cover and simmer until the pumpkin is tender - I like to check this by stabbing a pumpkin chunk with a fork. I find this takes about 15-20 minutes of simmering time.
At this point you're going to want to purée your soup. To get it velvety-smooth, I like to purée the soup in batches using my Vitamix. Otherwise, you can use an immersion blender for this job, and purée the soup right in the pot.
Once the soup is blended up nice and velvety smooth, add your coconut milk and a good squeeze of lime. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if you like. Maybe a bit more lime? Perhaps a tad more curry paste? Choose your own adventure!
And that's it! Your soup is ready to serve. I like to top it with cilantro, chili flakes, and toasted pumpkin seeds if I'm feeling fancy.
Tips for the Best Pumpkin Soup
This is a super simple soup recipe that's easy to customize and make your own. Here are a few tips and tricks for the best pumpkin soup:
Choose the right pumpkin
The best pumpkin for soup is one that's on the small side, firm, and a bit sweet. I used Jarrahdale pumpkin, but Muscat or Blue Hubbard pumpkins would also work well. Pie pumpkins are also fine, or you can use butternut squash if that's what you have on hand!
If you've got roasted pumpkin puree stashed in the freezer or have canned pumpkin puree you want to use up, you'll want about 3.5 cups of purée to replace the pumpkin in this recipe.
Roast your pumpkin
If you want to skip the chopping and peeling, you can halve and roast your pumpkin, much like the process in this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
Dial the heat up (or down!)
Add a little bit of curry paste at a time until you reach your desired level of spiciness. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it out. Switch things up with different types of curry paste, or even curry powder - we've used red curry paste here, but you can try green or yellow curry paste instead. Just check your ingredients to make sure your curry paste is vegetarian, if that is important for you.
Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Soup
Leftover soup will last 3-5 days stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Or, to freeze, transfer cooled or room temperature soup into freezer-proof containers and ensure there's enough head space for the soup to expand as it freezes. I often reuse yogurt containers for freezing my soup, but I also love these reusable silicon freezer bags or Souper Cubes for freezing in single servings.
To re-heat soup I most often use my microwave.
If the soup is frozen, I'll drop the frozen block of soup into a pot and heat on low heat, covered, on the stove top until the soup has melted and warmed up.
Hey Nutrition Lady, is pumpkin healthy?
Pumpkin, and other yellow fleshed winter squash, are jam packed full of carotenes, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and other carotenoids. These are the compounds ultimately responsible for their bright yellow and orange colours, and also is a pre-cursor to Vitamin A (you need that so you can see).
Winter squash (including pumpkins) are also rockstars in the B vitamin department, with high amounts of vitamin B6, and a good amount of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folate, and pantothenic acid. Pumpkin also contains a good dose of dietary fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese.
Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe
- 4 pound pumpkin approx 10 cups of pumpkin peeled and cubed
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 4 cups vegetable broth more for a thinner soup
- 14 oz can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste more or less to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- lime juice, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds to serve
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Add the onions, and sauté until translucent, stirring often.1 large yellow onion
- Add the minced garlic and grated ginger. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until the onions have begun to brown.3 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Add the diced pumpkin, and stir to combine with the onions and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice more.4 pound pumpkin
- Add the vegetable broth - it should just cover the pumpkin - and the curry paste.4 cups vegetable broth, 2 Tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- Bring the soup to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender.
- Remove the soup from the heat and purée until smooth with an immersion blender.
- Add the coconut milk and a squeeze of lime juice and stir to combine.14 oz can full-fat coconut milk, salt and pepper
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings as desired.
- Serve the soup with cilantro, lime wedges, and toasted pumpkin seeds.lime juice, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- What kind of pumpkin do you use for this soup? The best pumpkin for soup is one that's on the small side, firm, and a bit sweet. I used Jarrahdale pumpkin, but Muscat or Blue Hubbard pumpkins would also work well. Pie pumpkins are also fine, or you can use butternut squash if that's what you have on hand!
- If you've got roasted pumpkin puree stashed in the freezer or have canned pumpkin puree you want to use up, you'll want about 3.5 cups of purée to replace the pumpkin in this recipe.
- Help! I don't have an immersion blender! No problem. Either you can transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender (BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN BLENDING HOT LIQUIDS!) or if you don't have a blender you can use a food mill.
- Can I make this soup spicier / less spicy? Yup. Just add a little bit of curry paste at a time until you reach your desired level of spiciness. Remember you can always add more, but you can't take it out.
This post was originally published November 13, 2018. It was re-tested, edited, and updated with helpful information November 3, 2023.