This Asian-inspired Roasted Pumpkin Soup is a delicious show stopper! It’s loaded with healthy veggies and makes a fun casual meal or dinner party starter.
This Roasted Pumpkin Soup was inspired all the colorful and fun-shaped pumpkins, gourds and squash that I’ve been seeing recently in huge, gorgeous mounds at the market.
I’ve been finding it impossible to resist throwing one or two of them into my cart and love using them in salads, soups, pasta dishes, custards, pies, muffins, breads, appetizers, etc. I also enjoy decorating with them, and you’ll find lots of them adding splashes of color on my dining room table, kitchen countertops as well as welcoming guests at the front door.
I had a bunch of those cute mini pumpkins on my fruit stand over the weekend. My sister, Dana was visiting and shared that she loves to hollow the baby pumpkins out, fill them with soup and serve these as a fun appetizer course.
I’ve roasted them in the past, filled with chunky applesauce and have seen them used for Thanksgiving stuffing, wild rice and even mashed potatoes – but soup? How fun! That’s all it took to get my brain whirring and thinking about what a delightful presentation they would make.
A new pumpkin soup was in the making… To make things simple, I picked up a bag of peeled and diced pumpkin at Trader Joe’s. Lots of stores have started carrying these convenient prepared veggies, but you can also do it yourself. Pumpkins can be a little tricky to peel, so I was thrilled to see my friend Denise, from the blog From Brazil to You share a tutorial on How to Easily Peel a Pumpkin for Cooking. It looks like a super simple technique and one that I’m going to love having in my culinary arsenal.
I added an Asian touch to my Roasted Pumpkin Soup with fresh ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, cilantro and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. I love to squeeze as many fresh veggies into my soups as possible, so I roasted onions and carrots along with the pumpkin and then added a potato with the final simmer.
For a delicious garnish, I swirled a bit of Ginger Cream (which is just Greek yogurt combined with a splash of honey and grated fresh ginger), over the top of the soup. Toasted pine nuts and a fresh cilantro sprig adds the crowning touch to my Roasted Pumpkin Soup.
Café Tips for making this Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- What’s the best type of pumpkin for cooking and baking? It’s not the same one you’ll purchase to carve your jack-o-lantern. The flesh of carving pumpkins is usually wet, stringy and quite bland. The most widely available pumpkins for culinary use are “sugar” pumpkins; sometimes also called pie pumpkins. They are smaller, have a smoother skin than Halloween pumpkins and much better flavor.
- Cooking pumpkins are about the size of a small cantaloupe or honeydew melon. There are also lots of heirloom varieties in a multitude of shapes and colors that are wonderful for kitchen use. Some of these are Cinderella (a French-variety that’s shape resembles the fairy god-mother’s coach from the fairy tale!), Pink Banana Squash, Australian Butter, Quaker Pie and Cheese pumpkins, to name just a few.
- The little pumpkins were roasted in a hot oven (see technique below***) and transformed into fun little soup bowls by scooping out the seeds and pulp; perfect for a prelude to a special meal.
- Larger pumpkins could be used for serving the Roasted Pumpkin Soup as a main course, but it’s also lovely served in a plain bowl with the pretty garnish.
- Add a loaf of crusty bread or some warm dinner rolls and a simple salad for a fall feast that everyone will love.
A delicious Asian-inspired soup that's super flavorful and loaded with lots of healthy veggies.
- 4 cups diced peeled pumpkin
- 1 medium onion peeled and sliced in 1-inch wedges
- 4 medium carrots peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger grate a little extra for the Ginger Cream topping (below)
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium potato chopped into approximately 1 1/2-inch pieces
- ½ cup cilantro packed
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup Greek yogurt I like whole milk Greek yogurt for this, but you can use whatever type you prefer.
- 1 teaspoon sea salt more if needed
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- toasted pine nuts** for garnish
- fresh cilantro springs for garnish
- ¼ cup Greek Yogurt
- 3 tablespoons half and half or milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- a pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
- Place diced pumpkin, onion wedges and carrot pieces on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat veggies with oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until veggies are beginning to turn golden, stirring halfway through.
- While the veggies are roasting, heat the 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously.
- Add the chicken broth, potato, cilantro, honey and roasted veggies. Bring to a boil then reduce to a steady simmer. Simmer, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Blend with an immersion blender till silky smooth or blend in batches in a regular blender*.
- If using a regular blender, return soup to pot, add Greek yogurt and whisk until smooth. If soup is too thick, add more chicken stock.
- Taste and season, if needed with more sea salt and pepper. Serve hot with a swirl of Ginger Cream (see below), a scatter of toasted pine nuts** and a sprig of fresh cilantro.
- For the Ginger Cream, combine all ingredients and stir until well combined. Add a few small dollops on top of each soup serving and swirl with a toothpick or skewer for a pretty pattern.
*If using a regular blender, be sure to let mixture cool off a bit before pureeing. Also remove the center piece of the blender lid and cover it with a clean kitchen towel. The towel will avoid spatters but will allow steam to escape. This will prevent explosions which can occur from the hot liquid expanding as it's blended.
** To toast pine nuts, place in a small pan and heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Stir frequently and watch carefully. Buying pine nuts is a bit like buying gold. They can easily go from golden to burned and that's a very sad day!
***To prepare mini pumpkins to use as soup bowls as pictured, cut a small slice off of the top of each pumpkin. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil and grease lightly with olive oil. Rub the cut pumpkins all over with olive oil and place, cut side down, on the prepared sheet pan. Roast on the lowest oven rack for 15 minutes or until just beginning to get tender. Scoop out the insides leaving a 1/4-inch edge. I used a small scalloped cookie cutter for a decorative edge. I inserted the cookie cutter into the top of the cut pumpkin and then removed it. I scooped out the pulp and seeds with a melon scooper to retain the scalloped look. You could also use a round cookie cutter for a smooth, round edge, if desired.