This savory curried pumpkin soup is an easy one-pot plant-based meal. Make it on the stove or in the slow-cooker with either canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin and a few kitchen staples. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free (without coconut milk!), and includes an oil-free option. Make this savory vegan pumpkin soup today and freeze it for cozy fall dinners ahead!
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Looking for a warm cozy meal perfect for a busy autumn weeknight? Curried Pumpkin Soup to the rescue!
Curried Pumpkin Soup was one of those dishes my mom made all the time when I was growing up.
If there was a dinner party at our house, you could pretty much guarantee curried pumpkin soup would be on the menu. The guests always loved it and would often ask for the recipe which my mother was always happy to share.
I was NOT a curried pumpkin soup fan at this stage in my life, as I was not a big fan of curry. And pumpkin in something savory? Nope, too weird for me.
Ahhh, young Brittany. You had so much to learn.
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How to Make Pumpkin Soup Vegan
Now, my tastes have definitely evolved, and I LOVE curry and savory pumpkin recipes.
Naturally, with this evolution, I knew I HAD to finally try my mom’s famous Curried Pumpkin Soup. Luckily, it’s rather easily veganized using some non-dairy cream and olive oil or vegan butter instead of dairy-based butter. Voila!
And now I totally get what everyone was raving about all those years ago. You were right, Mom. This soup really does rock!
Pumpkin Soup Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make vegan curried pumpkin soup. Don’t forget the full recipe with amounts and such can be found in the recipe card below!
First, there are our basic ingredients:
- Vegan butter or olive oil (or skip it for oil-free)
- White or yellow onion, diced
- Fresh ginger, minced
- Vegan chicken-style bouillon powder (We used our homemade bouillon!)
- Unsweetened plain dairy-free cream (Silk’s heavy whipping cream, Califia’s “Better Half”, or a good ol’ can of coconut milk all work! Just make sure you’re using something that is unsweetened and plain. See below for homemade substitutions we’ve tried.)
- Pumpkin puree – Make sure you get the pumpkin puree and NOT the pumpkin pie filling; don’t make that mistake! 😉
And this is what we add to our pumpkin curry soup for flavor:
- Sea salt
- Nutritional yeast
- Garlic powder
- Curry powder
- Celery salt
- Ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes – For maximum heat, we saute these with the onions.
Feel free to play around with the seasonings in this soup and adjust them to your tastes.
I know blended soups can be tricky in terms of flavor preferences. If that’s something you’re worried about, I recommend erring on the side of under-seasoning the soup and tasting / adjusting the seasoning as it cooks. It’s important to note that the flavors will intensify the longer the pumpkin soup sits (which we LOVE).
To make this soup oil-free:
Saute the onion and ginger in water or vegetable broth.
For the ginger:
If you don’t have any fresh ginger on hand, you could just cut it entirely. You could also sub ½ as much minced dried ginger or use some powdered ginger to taste.
For the bouillon powder:
We use our homemade bouillon powder in all of our soup recipes, but there are varieties you can find in stores if you don’t want to make it yourself. Just keep in mind not all bouillons will taste the same or have the same salt / flavor intensity, so taste and season as you go.
If you’re using bouillon paste, use 2 Tbsp. If you’re using bouillon cubes, use 1 ½.
For the vegan cream:
There are a couple homemade routes you can go here: If you have a high-powered blender, cream made from cashews or sunflower seeds is always a good option.
To do this, add ½ cup cashews or sunflower seeds to a blender and pour 1 cup of hot water on top of them. Let it sit like this uncovered for about 10 minutes. Then, blend that baby up for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy and use as directed in this recipe.
You can also sub plain unsweetened non-dairy milk, but the soup will be a bit thinner.
How to sub different squash:
You could totally sub a different pureed squash here like butternut! Fun fact: Many brands of canned “pumpkin” use a blend of pumpkin and butternut squash.
How to use fresh pumpkin:
This is actually FAR simpler than you might imagine. Get yourself two 4-5 pound pumpkins. Each should yield approximately two cups puree when done. Cut them lengthwise. (Tip of your knife blade touching stem across from you.) Scrape out the seeds so the flesh is clean.
Place cut-side down and bake at 375F for 60-75 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and tender. Let cool and scrape away from the rind. Mash with a potato masher or puree in the food processor. Then, just use this puree as directed in the recipe!
How to make it less spicy:
If you want to keep the base of the soup cool, you can cut the red pepper flakes and save them for an optional garnish! Cut the black pepper too if you don’t want any spicy at all.
For the nutritional yeast:
This is a staple ingredient in vegan pantries and adds a nutty/cheesy quality to the soup. This is a deactivated savory yeast that is not the same as the yeast you use to make bread. If you don’t have it, feel free to leave it out and maybe use 1 Tbsp mustard powder instead.
For the spices:
If your spice cabinet is running low, you could ditch the turmeric, but be aware the soup may be a little less vibrant color. If needed, the celery salt could go too. And you could substitute 1 tsp curry paste for the curry powder.
How to add protein:
If you want to bulk up the protein in this soup to make it more of a full meal, feel free to add up to 3/4 cup cooked red lentils, use blended silken tofu to replace some or all of the vegan cream, or serve it with ½ cup cooked quinoa mixed into your bowl.
Make it kid-friendly:
If you’re making this pumpkin soup for kids, you may want to remove some of the spices depending on their tastes, and I would definitely remove the crushed red pepper and save that for garnish on the adults’ bowls!
How to Make Curried Pumpkin Soup
This vegan curried pumpkin soup comes together in a quick one-pot meal!
Step One: Saute the veggies.
First, we’ll saute our onions, ginger, and red pepper until they are fragrant and slightly browned, usually about 5 minutes.
Step Two: Season and simmer.
Next, we’ll whisk in some water, our dairy-free cream, and pumpkin puree and bring that pot to a boil.
When boiling, we’ll stir in our seasonings, turn the heat to low and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, making sure we’re stirring frequently and scraping the bottom as we stir.
From there, just taste and adjust the seasonings to your preferences.
How to achieve a creamier texture:
I actually enjoy this recipe without blending it, but if you want a suuuuper creamy texture, get in there with your immersion blender!
And if you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use any food processor or blender you have on hand. Just be careful and know you may need to blend it in batches.
Also, it should be noted: Blending the red pepper flakes into the soup will definitely intensify the heat. If you don’t like your food spicy and want to blend the soup, I would save the crushed red pepper for a garnish.
Can I make curried pumpkin soup in the slow-cooker or Crockpot?
Absolutely! To do this, I would saute the onions, ginger, and red pepper, then transfer that to the slow cooker and add the liquids and seasonings. Cook it for 60-90 minutes on high, or let it set and simmer all day (4-6 hours) on low/medium-low. Really, because there’s no solid veg to actually cook, you’re just allowing the time for the flavors to meld together.
How to Serve Curried Pumpkin Soup
Serve this vegan curried pumpkin soup hot in a bowl topped with your desired toppings. Here are some of the things we’ve tried:
Bread Bowl: This soup is incredibly impressive served in a pumpernickel bread bowl or pretzel bowl.
Toasted Pepitas: We LOVE to top this soup with toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). That’s what we did for the soup in these photos! The process is super simple: Just heat a little canola oil in a saute pan and add the seeds. Shake regularly to move them around. You’ll hear small pops as they begin to brown and toast. This doesn’t take long, so be careful. As the seeds brown and the nutty/toasty smell wafts up, lower the heat. Add a little salt, shake around, and then remove from heat. (Be careful!! These will be really hot at first. Do not eat until they’re cool.)
Pumpernickel croutons: Use pumpernickel bread and our air-fried crouton recipe to make perfect croutons to complement this soup!
Quinoa or barley: Add a couple spoonfuls of cooked quinoa or barley to your finished soup for a hearty winter meal.
What wine goes with curried pumpkin soup?
Our favorite curried pumpkin soup wine pairing is sangiovese. (That’s the main grape in Chianti wine!).
We particularly loved this Ziobaffa Toscana. The wine is super fruit-forward (which complements those spicy red pepper flakes SO well!) but still has enough body to hang with the soup’s bold curry flavors.
How to Store Leftover Pumpkin Soup
How to store leftovers in the fridge:
Store this soup in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. Keep in mind the soup’s flavors and heat will intensify as it sits.
How to freeze leftover pumpkin soup:
We highly recommend freezing this soup! Let the soup cool completely and freeze it in a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving at least an inch or two of space on top to allow for expansion as it freezes. Stored like this, the soup should last a good 5-6 weeks.
How to reheat pumpkin soup:
Let the soup defrost on the counter or in the fridge overnight and when defrosted, reheat it in the microwave or over the stove on low heat, stopping to stir and scrape the bottom often. If the texture gets weird, whip it up a few times with your fork and it should come back to life. If the soup becomes too thick, add a little vegetable broth as it heats until it reaches your desired consistency.
More Blended Soups to Enjoy:
Pick a night soon to get cozy with a pair of footie pajamas, a glass of sangiovese, and this soup.
Because believe me when I say: You deserve it.
And then, let us know all about it because it really makes our day when you do that. 🙂
You can rate the recipe and leave a comment below or tag us in your photos on Instagram! If you’re not already following along, we’re @theplantpowercouple with the “the”.
Yield: 4 large bowls of soup
This savory curried pumpkin soup is an easy one-pot plant-based meal. Make it on the stove or in the slow-cooker with either canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin and a few kitchen staples. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free (without coconut milk!), and includes an oil-free option. Make it today and freeze it for cozy fall dinners ahead!
10 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
35 minTotal Time:
5 based on 1 review(s)
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, for spicy)
- 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 4 cups water
- 2 (15-oz) cans pumpkin puree
- 1½ cups dairy-free cream* (see notes)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup vegan chicken-style bouillon powder
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Heat the vegan butter or olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat for a minute or two. Then, add your diced onions and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 3 more minutes or until onions are translucent. Then, stir in the ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the water, pumpkin puree, and vegan cream. Then, cover the pot and bring it to a boil. When it comes to a boil, remove the lid and stir in your seasonings. Turn the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve this curried pumpkin soup hot in a bowl with your desired toppings, like toasted pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, pumpernickel croutons, or a couple spoonfuls of quinoa or barley. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Enjoy!
*VEGAN CREAM (Store-Bought Options): We like Silk’s heavy whipping cream or Califia’s Better Half. 1 (15-oz) can of full-fat coconut milk will work also or sub any plain unsweetened non-dairy milk.
*VEGAN CREAM (Homemade options): Cashew cream or sunflower cream works great! To make this, add ½ cup cashews or sunflower seeds to a blender and pour 1 cup of hot water on top of them. Let it sit like this uncovered for about 10 minutes. Then, blend that baby up for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy and use as directed. **TO MAKE IT OIL-FREE: Saute the veg in water or broth instead of butter.
TO MAKE IT CREAMIER: Use an immersion blender to blend everything before serviing. Be aware if you’re using the optional red pepper flakes, this will intensify the spiciness of your soup.
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS: Saute the onions, ginger, and red pepper as directed, then transfer that to the slow cooker and stir in the liquids and seasonings. Cook it for 60-90 minutes on high or let it set and simmer all day (4-6 hours) on low.
TO USE FRESH PUMPKIN: Cut two 4-5 pound pumpkins lengthwise. (Tip of your knife blade touching stem across from you.) Scrape out the seeds so the flesh is clean. Place cut-side down and bake at 375F for 60-75 minutes or until pumpkin is soft and tender. Let cool and scrape away from the rind. Mash with a potato masher or puree in the food processor. Then, just use this puree as directed in the recipe!
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