This healthy turmeric ginger pumpkin soup is creamy without cream, comforting, warming, and packed with immune-boosting health benefits! Best of all, this recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan and only requires below 10 ingredients, fresh or canned pumpkin, one-pot, and under an hour on the stovetop (crockpot and InstantPot methods included!)
Wash, chop and peel the pumpkin into 1–2 inch pieces (save the seeds to roast and season!), thinly slice the carrots, and roughly chop the peppers.Finely chop the onion and garlic and mince the ginger and turmeric (if using fresh). Check recipe notes if you want to serve the soup in mini pumpkins.
Step 2: Sauté the aromatics
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (or Dutch Oven) over medium heat with the oil (or a splash of water/broth). Once hot, add all the onion, garlic, ginger, and turmeric along with the chili flakes (if using), and sauté for 2-3 minutes until the onions begin to turn translucent.
Step 3: Add the vegetables
Add the chopped carrot, peppers, and pumpkin and continue to sauté for 10-12 minutes until the onions begin to caramelize and the veggies have started becoming tender and slightly browning (this will provide a delicious depth of flavor to the pumpkin carrot soup).If you’re using pumpkin puree, allow the peppers and carrots to sauté/slightly brown for several minutes before adding the puree and cooking for a further 8-10 minutes (this will reduce it slightly to enhance the flavor, though even 5 minutes is better than nothing).
Step 4: Add the liquid and simmer
Add the vegetable stock and water (I only use water if the stock is heavily salted; otherwise, you could use all vegetable stock). Make sure that all the veggies are submerged. If not, then top it up with a little extra liquid.
Place a lid on the pot (at a slight angle to allow steam to release), reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until the veggies are tender.I used large pieces of pumpkin, so this took around 35 minutes. However, if you chop smaller pieces, this can take as little as 15 minutes.
Step 5: Blend the pumpkin carrot soup
Once the veggies are tender, use an immersion blender (be careful of splashes) to process the soup until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a blender, but you'll need to do so in batches and use a tea towel to hold down the lid while blending (the pressure from the steam can cause it to pop open otherwise).
Taste the soup, add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust any other seasonings. Then, add your toppings of choice and enjoy!I love to serve the turmeric ginger pumpkin soup with bread like a crusty loaf (with butter), naan, Greek pita, or even focaccia. You could alternatively top it with homemade croutons and/or kale chips.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
Start by sauteing the ingredients (follow the first 3 steps above). Then, transfer the sauteed ingredients and liquid to your crockpot, cover, and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4.
Use your immersion blender (or regular blender) to blitz into a smooth and creamy pumpkin soup before seasoning with salt and pepper and serving! Finally, enjoy your crockpot pumpkin soup with your toppings of choice!
Instant Pot Pumpkin Soup
I recommend slicing your pumpkin into smaller 1-inch pieces; otherwise, the cooking time will vary. I haven’t tested this method myself as I don’t own an Instant Pot, though I asked a friend to try it for me.Sauté the aromatics (garlic, onion, turmeric, ginger, and optionally chili flakes) for 2-3 minutes before adding the veggies and sauteing for a further 5-8 minutes, until slightly browned. Don’t panic if the pumpkin sticks a little to the bottom since we’re adding liquid next.
Add the liquid, cover with a lid, and cook on MANUAL for 12 minutes. Allow it to slow release for 10 minutes before using the quick release and carefully opening the lid. If you're using pumpkin puree, then 8-9 minutes on MANUAL should be enough.Use the immersion blender directly in the Instant Pot (or use a regular blender in batches, using a tea towel to hold the lid shut), taste, season, and enjoy your Instant Pot pumpkin soup!
How to Make Ahead & Store
Make ahead: for the best flavor, I recommend you make this pumpkin vegetable soup a day in advance and allow the flavors to meld overnight before serving. Store: store any leftover vegan pumpkin soup in an airtight container in the fridge for between 5-7 days. Freeze: allow the soup to cool and then transfer it to portioned containers (or reusable freezer bags) and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Reheat: reheat it gently either on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave (for 1½ minutes, then stir, and heat in 30-second increments until heated through).
To serve the ginger pumpkin soup in mini pumpkins: first, wash and clean the pumpkin(s) well. Then slice off a "lid" from the top and use a spoon to scoop out the seedy/fleshy part within. Brush the interior of each one with a little oil and prod several times with a fork or knife. Then, bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF/180ºC for 35-40 minutes, or until tender and golden.
To use leftover Halloween pumpkins: these don’t taste as great as culinary pumpkins, so I recommend making the soup with a combination of pumpkin and sweet potato or another squash like butternut squash/ kabocha, etc.
To adjust the thickness: simply adjust the amount of liquid used in the recipe. If you're not sure how thin you want the soup to be, simply remove some liquid from the pot before blending the mixture. You can then slowly re-introduce it until you achieve the correct consistency. Likewise, you’ll need to add a little additional liquid (broth or water) for a thinner soup.
If you want to add any coconut milk: only add this after blending the soup to avoid it curdling the pumpkin soup.
Be careful using a blender: the steam will build up inside the machine and can cause the lid to pop off. I like to hold a tea towel over the lid while blending and crack it open often to release the steam. Using an immersion blender is easiest, but watch out for any hot splashes!
Optional Add-ins & Recipe Variations:
Other seasonings: cumin, nutmeg, or cinnamon (added to taste) would work well.
Thyme/Sage: the combination of pumpkin with either thyme or sage are complete classics. I recommend adding a few fresh sprigs to the soup and removing them before blending.
Nutritional yeast: for a slightly nutty, cheesy flavor (add, to taste).
Sweetener: a little brown sugar or maple syrup can help slightly balance the flavors and add a hint of sweetness to the healthy pumpkin soup.
Other squash: you could also try this recipe with another type of squash, like butternut squash or kabocha squash.
If you want a creamier soup: reduce some of the water/broth and add a little coconut milk or coconut cream. Alternatively, swirl in a little dairy-free yogurt (like coconut yogurt) – within or to garnish this dairy-free pumpkin soup.
To garnish: there are several ways to garnish the ginger pumpkin soup. I love to use some kind of seed (pumpkins seeds would work very well or this seed sprinkle) and/or crispy onions or sage leaves.