Can I just tell you how much you are going to love this Roasted Pumpkin Soup? A lot, that’s how much! Not only is it creamy and smooth, with a little sweet spice, but it’s so healthy (paleo and vegan in fact!) 

A blue and white patterned plate underneath a white bowl of pumpkin soup

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Now that the official season of when I go Soup Crazy has begun, let’s climb right to the the pinnacle of the coziest fall soups ever… Roasted Pumpkin Soup! This is a classic version of pumpkin soup in every way, except that I have made it a little bit healthier by omitting heavy cream, and instead opting for a creamy vegan alternative, of pureed cashews. 

The trifecta of roasted pumpkin soup goodness is all here my friends: The requisite cinnamon and spice is here, the velvety texture is here, the pumpkin seeds to garnish even are here. It’s the whole kit and kaboodle! 

If you’re going soup crazy too, and you are in the mood for making soup then this is THE soup to make on a fall weekend. It keeps for four days in the fridge so you can serve it during the week! I just bought a loaf of sourdough bread to serve with it and we had it after my daughter’s field hockey game. If you have more time, you could also make these Parmesan Leek Muffins to go with it instead.

Let’s get into the details about how to make this Roasted Pumpkin Soup.

A blue and white patterned plate underneath a white bowl of pumpkin soup

How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin for Soup

As we’ve already discussed in the tutorial about how to cut up a whole fresh pumpkin, it is very easy to prepare a whole pumpkin for cooking, you just need to follow these simple steps:

Choosing A Fresh Pumpkin:

There are many different kinds of pumpkin, but you’ll want to look for pie pumpkin for this recipe. They are smaller, thinner skinned and have less stringy flesh than jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Look for one that is 2 1/2 to 3 pounds for this recipe. If there is any dirt on it, make sure you wash it off as soon as you bring it home. 

Cut the pumpkin and Remove the Seeds:

Remove the stem by snapping it off. Then cut the pumpkin in half along the equator. Then scoop out the seeds. If you like you can save the seeds to roast them just as you would with Jack’o’lantern seeds. Clean them well, dry them, toss them with oil and salt and bake until crispy and lightly golden.

Roast The Pumpkin:

Next roast the pumpkin cut side down on a baking sheet. I like to line my baking sheet with foil or parchment so the clean up is easier. Some pumpkins, especially those that are very fresh, will let off a lot of liquid when they roast so make sure your baking sheet has sides to it. I like these commercial aluminum “half sheet” pans

Testing For Doneness:

To see if the pumpkin is tender, you can press a fork right through the skin into the flesh, or you can press down on the skin with your fingertips. If the flesh is soft to the touch it is ready. A pumpkin this size will take 45 minutes to 1 hour to become tender, depending on how fresh it is.

Let it Cool, then Scoop out the Pumpkin:

Once the pumpkin is cool, remove the sheet pan from the oven, and turn the pumpkin cut side up to cool. This will allow the steam to escape and the pumpkin to cool quickly. Scoop the pumpkin out of the skin with a spoon, leaving behind only the skin.

 

Making the Vegan Pumpkin Soup

While the pumpkin is in the oven, you’ll have plenty of time to prep the veggies for the soup. This has a classic Mirepoix base of onions, carrots and celery. I’ve also added in garlic and seasonings.

Start with a Heavy Pot

I used my 4-quart Staub Dutch Oven to make this recipe. I love that it has a heavy bottom, so the sauteed vegetables and/or soup won’t scorch. The thick bottom prevent hot spots and the veggies cook more evenly.

Cook the Vegetables

Cook the onions, garlic and celery in oil with the chopped garlic until it is starting to brown. The browning will contribute natural sweetness and complexity of flavor. Make sure you do not over brown the onions though, keep an eye on them, and stir regularly.

Add Aromatic Spices

Adding the aromatic spices to the sauteed veggies will help bloom their flavors in the oil. This will make them come alive and taste more intense. 

Deglaze with Wine

The wine will help to release any browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch Oven. The acidity of the wine also helps to amplify the flavors and to add acidity to the base flavors of the soup. You can skip this step if you do not drink or cook with alcohol.

Add Broth and Simmer

My favorite vegetable broth is Imagine No Chicken. IMO, it is unparalleled in its flavor and I actually will drive all the way into Burlington to buy it because it makes THAT much of a difference to the flavor of the soup. If you’re not vegetarian, you could also use chicken broth in this soup.

Once the broth comes to a simmer, just cook it until the veggies are soft. If the pumpkin is still roasting at this point, just turn the soup off and let it sit while the pumpkin does it’s thing. 

Make Cashew Cream

Another thing you can do while you’re waiting for the pumpkin to roast is to make the cashew cream.

To make this soup more creamy and delicious I used pureed cashews. If you’re not familiar with using cashews as a vegan alternative to cream, then I can’t wait for you to be wowed by this! [Aside: You’ll also have to try these Turnips and Greens in Cashew Cream.] The great thing about cashews is that they’re very neutral in flavor (a little sweet perhaps) so they blend into the soup very well without affecting the flavor of the soup.

To puree the cashews, use some of the vegetable broth, and add it and raw cashews to a blender. Then puree on high, scraping down the sides once or twice until the cream is completely smooth. For a high speed blender this takes about 20 seconds. For a regular blender, you will need to puree the cashews for about a minute.

Vegan Pumpkin Soup without Coconut Milk

Coconut milk on the other hand has a much more distinct flavor that would change this soup completely. Coconut would work well for curried soups, like in my Clean Eating Curried Butternut Squash Soup, but in the case of classic pumpkin soup, the focus is more on the pumpkin and warm cinnamon flavors and in my opinion coconut would be more of a distraction. 

I also have been focusing on eliminating excess saturated fat in my diet, and using 2 cups of this veggie broth and cashew “cream” versus 2 cups of coconut milk saves 16 grams of saturated fat per serving of this soup. To read more about why I am concerned about saturated fat you can read this article here. 

Puree the Pumpkin Soup

To finish the soup, add the pumpkin to the veggies and broth. Then simply puree the soup right in the pot with your immersion blender, or you can do so in batches in the blender. Just be careful to only fill the blender half way, and hold the lid tight so that the lid doesn’t pop off from the steam.

Add the Cashew Cream, Maple and ACV

Once the soup is smooth, add the cashew cream and blend it to combine. I like to save a dab of it, so I can drizzle it over the tops of the bowls to make a pretty garnish.

I also add in maple syrup and apple cider vinegar to balance and boost the flavor. 

Vegan Pumpkin Soup in a black Dutch Oven with a serving of soup on the side

How to Garnish Pumpkin Soup

I like to doll up the soup so that it has a little variation in flavor and texture. There are lots of options. Today I used chives, pepitas and a drizzle of the reserved cashew cream. 

Other ideas that would compliment the flavors and texture of the soup nicely are hemp seeds, dry harissa powder, minced red onion, croutons or shredded baby arugula.

How Long Will the Soup Keep?

This soup is great for meal prep because it keeps for four days in the fridge. We made it on a Thursday and didn’t have it for dinner until Monday night. I reheated it in the Dutch Oven until it was simmering. 

How to Cool The Soup To Store It

If you aren’t going to serve the soup right after you make it, to cool it down quickly, set the pot into a large bowl of ice water. Stir the soup frequently with a metal spoon to help it to cool quickly. Bringing the temperature down quickly will help it get through the temperature danger zone as quickly as possible, and ensure that it’s safe to eat. 

Note if you do put this soup away while it is still hot, do not seal it shut into an airtight container until it is cool. If you seal it while it is still hot it will go bad! 

How To Freeze the Pumpkin Soup

  • This soup will freeze just fine for up to three months. Once it is cool, transfer it into the size containers you want. For single servings, use 2 cup containers, or to serve the whole family use a couple larger ones. Make sure to not fill them all the way to the top as the soup will expand when it freezed. Seal and label the soup and set it in a even flat surface in the freezer. 
  • To thaw the soup, set the container of the soup in the fridge for 1 to 2 days to thaw slowly. To thaw it quickly you can do so in the microwave. Do do so, heat for 4 minutes at a time, then use a fork to break apart the frozen chunk as it thaws. Repeat until it is thawed then continue heating until it is simmering hot. 
  • Make sure you reheat leftovers completely to ensure they are food safe. Do not reheat twice and do not refreeze. 

More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

  1. Yes, really, this 15 Minute Thai Pumpkin Soup is done that fast!  
  2. You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to make this Vegetarian Thanksgiving Pilaf with Pumpkin and Quinoa.
  3. If you’ve never tried pumpkin risotto, you have to try my brown rice pumpkin risotto. It’s super easy to make and healthy because it’s made with whole grain rice. 
  4. Maple Pumpkin Dip is one of my kids all time favorite snacks.

 

Print
close up of roasted pumpkin soup

Roasted Pumpkin Soup {Vegan}

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Roasting and Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Roasted Pumpkin Soup {Vegan} made with a whole cooking pumpkin, onion, celery, cinnamon and nutmeg.  At the end add maple syrup and pureed cashews to make it creamy instead of using cream or coconut milk.


Scale

Ingredients

1 2 ½ to 3 pound pie pumpkin, stem removed, cut in half and seeds scooped out

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced

¾ cup sliced celery

¾ cup diced carrot

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground pepper

Pinch cayenne

¼ cup white wine

8 cups vegetable or chicken broth, divided

1/2 cup raw cashew pieces *see note

¼ cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark

4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Optional garnishes: chopped chives, toasted pumpkin seeds


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  2. Place pumpkin cut-side-down on the prepared baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake until the pumpkin is fork tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool cut side up on the baking sheet. Scoop the flesh from the pumpkin with a large kitchen spoon. Discard skin.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy bottomed large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic and cook stirring often until the vegetables start to brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, pepper and cayenne over the vegetables and stir to coat. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add white wine and simmer until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
  5. Add 6 ½ cups broth to the vegetables and spice mixture and bring to a gentle boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and let cook until the celery is completely soft, about 5 minutes. Hold off the heat until the pumpkin is soft.
  6. Meanwhile, puree cashews and the remaining 1 ½ cup broth in a blender until as smooth as possible. Reserve 2 tablespoons cashew mixture for garnish.
  7. Add the roasted pumpkin to the broth mixture and return to a simmer over medium-high heat. Puree with immersion blender or in blender in two batches until smooth. Use caution when pureeing hot liquid! Sir in cashew mixture, maple syrup and vinegar. Serve hot drizzle with reserved cashew cream and garnish with chives and pumpkin seeds if using.

Notes

  • *Note: For a nut-free {non-vegan and non-paleo} alternative: Use the full 8 cups of broth in step 5. Omit the cashews and use ½ cup sour cream, whisked in after the soup is pureed.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 212
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 3 g
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