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Curried Pumpkin Soup

Fragrant curry powder adds a warm spice to this silky-smooth pumpkin soup recipe. Easy for a weeknight & elegant enough for entertaining!

Overhead view of 2 bowls of curried pumpkin soup with cilantro leaves, sour cream, and chili oil garnish.

Pumpkin season. It’s something that’s looked at with both excitement and dread by so many people.

Personally, I don’t have super strong feelings either way. A PSL isn’t really my thing, but I’m not against all things pumpkin.

And in fact, when it comes to things like soup, pumpkin can be a truly delicious addition to any fall menu.

Canned Pumpkin vs. Pumpkin Pie Mix

My family has been enjoying this soup for many years now, but I’ve just recently made some tweaks to it.

One huge item of importance here is to make sure that you purchase canned pumpkin ONLY. Do not, I repeat DO NOT buy canned pumpkin pie mix.

These 2 cans often look almost identical! Many brands feature a photo of pumpkin pie on the label of straight up pumpkin as well as on pumpkin pie mix.

Can of Libby's 100% pure pumpkin.

Several years ago, my father-in-law picked up the canned pumpkin for me so I could make this soup for the whole family. We didn’t realize until we were all sitting around the dinner table that something was seriously off. It went a little something like this:

Dino (my husband): “Wowwwww… what did you sweeten this with?”

Me: “Honey.”

Dino: “Ummm… it’s SUPER sweet. How much honey did you use?!”

Me: “No way – it can’t be that sweet… I only used one tablespoon in the whole batch!”

Then I tasted it, and sure enough, it was incredibly sweet. I racked my brain trying to figure out what on earth could have caused so much sweetness, and that’s when I thought to dig the can of pumpkin out of the recycling bin.

Boom. Pumpkin pie mix.

Can of Libby's easy pumpkin pie mix.

Pumpkin pie mix is canned pumpkin purée that has added spices like clove, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. And it’s also pre-sweetened.

So learn from this mistake and definitely triple check that you’re buying canned pumpkin and NOT pumpkin pie mix!

Side view of 2 bowls of curried pumpkin soup with cilantro leaves, sour cream, and chili oil garnish.

This curried pumpkin soup recipe is perfect for the cooler fall weather that has finally arrived here in New York. It’s equally delicious whether you purée the soup at the end or leave it as-is with the pieces of mushrooms and onions intact.

If you have an immersion blender, it’s super easy to just pop it down into your stock pot, hit the button a few times, and reap the rewards of a lusciously silky-smooth soup.

You could also use a standard-style blender, but if you want to use something like a food processor, you’ll have to work in batches to be able to process all of the soup and avoid overflow.

And let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to dirty another dish/appliance. So it’s totally fine to leave it unblended. It’s still incredibly tasty!

Overhead view of 2 bowls of curried pumpkin soup with cilantro leaves, sour cream, and a bottle of chili oil.

Garnishes for Curried Pumpkin Soup

When you’re ready to serve your curried pumpkin soup, taste it for seasoning. There aren’t a ton of flavors going on in here, so a little extra salt sometimes is just what this soup needs to take it from good to great.

A dollop of sour cream (or crème fraîche) makes a really lovely, cool addition to this warm soup. I like adding a little more freshly cracked pepper over the bowls, then a scattering of fresh cilantro leaves. You could use other herbs instead, or even a mix. Chives are nice here, and parsley would also work.

I think some pepitas would be a nice, crunchy addition that would add a nice bit of texture to these bowls as well. I haven’t tried it yet but I plan to next time around.

One of the things that we like to add as a finishing touch to this curried pumpkin soup is a little drizzle of chili oil. The last time I made it, we used some hot pepper-infused olive oil from a local farm. You can use any spicy chili oil that you have on hand or even a bit of chili garlic sauce.

You could also infuse your own chili oil quickly by warming some chili flakes or a dried chili pepper in olive oil in a saucepan on the stovetop.

Other flavored oils could work nicely here as well, but we enjoy the bit of fiery kick that the drizzle of chili oil adds.

3/4 view of 2 bowls of curried pumpkin soup with cilantro leaves, sour cream, and a bottle of chili oil.

What are your favorite soups? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!

Looking for more of our favorite soups and stews? Check out these 5-star recipes:

Recipe for Curried Pumpkin Soup

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Overhead view of 2 bowls of curried pumpkin soup with cilantro leaves, sour cream, and chili oil garnish.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen – Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


Fragrant curry powder adds a warm spice to this silky smooth pumpkin soup recipe that is easy enough for a weeknight and elegant enough for entertaining!


Units Scale


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Stir in flour and curry powder and let cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually pour in chicken stock, continuing to stir until combined. Allow soup to simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened, about 5-7 minutes longer.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, honey, salt, nutmeg, and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in evaporated milk and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  4. Use an immersion blender to purée soup, if desired, before ladling into bowls. Serve soup topped with dollops of sour cream, a sprinkle of cilantro, additional fresh cracked black pepper, and a drizzle of chili oil, if desired.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 220
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Sodium: 436.4 mg
  • Fat: 7.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.2 g
  • Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 10.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 13.8 mg

Keywords: fall, comfort food, pumpkin soup

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Elaine Benoit

    This curried pumpkin soup looks outstanding! I can imagine your dismay when finding out you used pumpkin pie mix instead of puree. I love how easy your recipe looks! And how flavorful it is!

  • Jenni LeBaron

    I love that you added mushrooms to this soup to give it even more body and creaminess. I feel the flavors also help to mellow the sweetness of the pumpkin. This curried pumpkin soup sounds really comforting and tasty!

  • Jyothi (Jo)

    Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere and i’m so loving it all. Pumpkin soup with curried flavor – oh yes bring it on! Anything with curry flavor is my weakness and I can have it all.

  • Tina

    I think everybody makes that mistake of grabbing pumpkin pie mix by accident. I’m sure I did when I was a brand-spankin new adult. Your soup looks amazing, I love how healthy this is. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Jagruti

    Oh wow, I have never come across canned Pumpkin before! The soup looks wonderful – so many lovely flavours and so perfect for the season!

  • Kim Reed

    Pumpkin soup recipes are a bit like potato salad recipes – everyone has their own little twist that makes it their own. This one is very close to the one I’ve always made. I don’t use honey, and for an extra treat I sometimes put toasted pumpkin seeds on top. Also if you’re really strictly counting calories, you can reduce or even eliminate the butter if you have a good stock pan to soften the onions and garlic without added fat (and very nearly just as yummy without it!). Thanks for posting – I had forgotten my proportions and yours were spot on!

    • Ashley

      Great tips, Kim! A lot of recipes are definitely easy to reduce the calories by making a few small changes. So glad this worked out for you!

  • Maria Sotomayor

    I had to modify this recipe and Ashley suggested zucchini (daughter allergic to mushrooms). The soup was very tasty and had some kick that I really enjoyed.

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