Everyone gets excited about all things pumpkin in September and October but personally, I think November is the true month of the pumpkin. Instead of carving them into jack-o’-lanterns, people finally start putting them into delicious things like pie.
But there are more things you can do with a pumpkin than packing it into a pie crust. We know and love them for their roll in sweet treats, like bread, cakes, pies, and pastries, but pumpkins have a delightfully savory side that often goes untapped in the fall.
I love rich, creamy soups in the fall as the weather begins to cool down. To me, a hearty bowl of soup is comfort food at its finest. It’s warm, toasty and hits you with all the warm fuzzies of the season.
The first time I ever heard of a pumpkin soup, I was more than a little skeptical. That was mainly because assumed any kind of pumpkin recipe had to be sweet. Oh, how wrong I had been. It. Was. Incredible.
When it comes to pumpkin soup, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that the seasonings are everything. I wasn’t thrilled with some of the existing pumpkin recipes I found online, so I decided to create my own and give it a little extra kick.
If you too are a pumpkin soup doubter, a big bowl of this stuff may just change your mind. It’s full of spicy, savory, cheesy flavor to chase a bad day away in a spoonful. It’s also gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly. And if dairy isn’t on the menu for you, no worries! This pumpkin soup recipe is also easily vegan and lactose-free adaptable!
Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup
- 4 Cups vegetable stock
- 2 Cups pumpkin
- 2 Cups butternut squash
- 1 Yellow onion
- 4 Cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne powder
- Coconut oil
- 3/4 Cup pepper jack cheese, shredded (optional)
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and do the same with the pumpkin (make your knife cuts even on the pumpkin if you want to get all Pinterest fancy later and use the pumpkin shell as a serving dish for the soup). Place the squash on a baking sheet, use a basting brush to lightly coat the surface of the squash with coconut oil (or just drizzle it over) and sprinkle one clove of the diced garlic, salt and pepper over the squash. Place your pumpkin on a baking sheet with the top of the pumpkin placed back on and bake both the squash and pumpkin for an hour at 350°. (See tip section below if you’re short on time and need to cook these way faster.)
Remove the pumpkin and squash from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes (if water has accumulated in your pumpkin, you can dump it out.) Then remove the skin from the squash, chop into cubes and set aside. Scoop the pumpkin out of its shell and set aside in a bowl.
In a stock pot, saute onion, one clove of garlic and a drizzle of coconut oil until onions have browned. Add squash, vegetable stock, chili powder, cayenne, smoked paprika and the rest of the garlic and bring to a simmer. Add pumpkin, nutritional yeast and salt, and pepper to taste, stirring together and bringing to a gentle simmer for 5 or so minutes.
Carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth (careful, it’s hot stuff!). Taste test to make sure the seasoning it to your liking (feel free to add a little more salt to boost the flavor, or extra chili or cayenne powder if you like an extra spicy kick), then pour the mixture back into your stock pot or serving dish (or that baked pumpkin shell). Stir in your pepper jack cheese and serve hot. Makes about 6 hearty servings.
PREP TIPS and time savers:
- I try to choose a butternut squash and pie pumpkin that are relatively close in size for this recipe. If you have more than 2 cups of each, you can adjust the recipe and just make a slightly larger pot of soup.
- This recipe freezes very well.
- If you’re crunched for time: Instead of baking your butternut squash, place the squash (cut in half and deseeded) and about an inch of water in a microwave-safe container, cover the top and microwave on high for 10-12 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Repeat the steps for the pumpkin, or just substitute canned pumpkin instead.
- Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper. It helps to kick up the overall flavor in the dish. I like to add it in doses and taste test until I get the right balance.
- If you are hesitant about the spiciness of your soup, you can cut back on the chili and cayenne powders (either add a little at a time and taste test as you go or even partially substitute in a little onion or garlic powder) and swap to a mozzarella cheese.
- If you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant, no worries! Just nix the cheese and swap in a couple extra tablespoons of nutritional yeast to bump up that cheesy/nutty flavor without the dairy. Or add one of your favorite vegan cheese substitutes!
MACROS PER serving (with cheese):
- Calories: 186
- Carbs: 16.8g
- Fat: 7.4g
- Protein: 13g
I’ve saved this recipe in My Fitness Pal as “Reese’s Spicy Southwest Pumpkin Soup” if you’re a My Fitness Pal user.
More Craveable Soup Recipes
Looking for more mouth-watering soups for the fall? Be sure to check out some of my other soup recipes!
All writing and images copyright © 2018 Rachel Elise Weems Woods
Originally published 11-7-17. Edited 11-1-18