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Curried Pumpkin Soup

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!

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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.

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.

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
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Description

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!


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup yellow or red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (29-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Chili oil, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  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.

Keywords: fall, comfort food, pumpkin soup

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