This Paleo and vegetarian Pumpkin Curry Soup recipe is creamy, flavorful, and made with coconut milk and real pumpkin. It can also be made vegan with a simple substitute!
My Favorite Pumpkin Curry Soup Memory
I first encountered a version of this soup in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
The Whites were the most physically challenging section of my Appalachian Trail thru-hike. As rugged and remote as the mountains were, every once in a while I would come across a beacon of “civilization” in the form of a hut run by the Appalachian Mountain Club.
For a few dollars, the huts offered some hot food to non-guests; as a rabid thru-hiker, I would have gladly paid ten times the price.
Curried Pumpkin Soup was my favorite dish that I ate at the huts. I will never forget the way it warmed by body and soul after a day getting knocked around by the elements on the trail.
Pumpkin Curry Soup Ingredients
- Fresh Sugar Pumpkin: Unlike the remote huts of the White Mountains, I have access to fresh pumpkin to use in my version of this soup. It takes a little time, but roasting a fresh pumpkin really adds to the flavor. If you’re running short on time, you can substitute with 2 (15-ounce) cans of pumpkin puree.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cumin Seeds: Toasting these form the base of the curry and brings some big time flavor. You can substitute with a tablespoon of ground cumin, just add it with the other spices later in the recipe.
- Ground Coriander
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg
- Cayenne Pepper
- Vegetable Stock: Try to use the highest quality you can find, or–even better–homemade.
- Honey: To make this soup vegan, substitute with maple syrup
- Fresh Cilantro: If you aren’t a cilantro fan, feel free to omit it completely.
How to Make Pumpkin Curry Soup
Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the inner membrane and seeds, reserving the seeds for roasting.
Slice the pumpkin into approximately 1 inch thick wedges.
Spread the wedges out on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on top of them and season them with salt and pepper.
Roast the pumpkin in a 350°F oven for about an hour until it is extremely tender.
Rinse the seeds in a colander and dry them as much as possible on a towel. Toss the seeds with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then spread them out on a baking sheet in an even layer.
Toast them in the same 350°F oven until they are golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
When the pumpkin is just about done, heat some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.
Add a tablespoon of cumin seeds and toast the seeds until they are fragrant and start to brown, about 1 minute.
Add some diced onion and carrot and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add some chopped garlic, ginger, and some coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and sea salt.
Cook for a minute or two until everything is wonderfully fragrant.
Add the roasted pumpkin and vegetable stock and bring it to a gentle simmer.
Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches using a standard blender, then stir in the coconut milk and honey.
Add a little water if you desire a thinner consistency. Cook for a few minutes until everything is heated through.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds and some fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Curry Soup
- 1 (3-4 pound) sugar pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for roasting
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
- 1 onion diced
- 1 carrot diced
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 inch knob ginger peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup for vegan
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
For the Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the inner membrane and seeds, reserving the seeds for roasting. Slice the pumpkin into 1 inch thick wedges.
- Spread the pumpkin wedges out on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil on top and season them with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour or until extremely tender.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast until slightly brown and fragrant, about one minute.
- Add the onion, carrot, and sea salt to the pot and sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the roasted pumpkin wedges and pour in the stock. Bring to a gentle simmer.
- Puree the soup using a hand blender, or working in batches with a standard blender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and honey (or maple syrup). Add water as needed to reach a desired consistency, and season with more sea salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes until heated through.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh cilantro.
For the Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove any membrane from the seeds by rinsing them in a colander, then dry them on a paper towel. In a small bowl, toss the seeds with olive oil and a small pinch of salt and pepper.
- Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.
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