Spiced Pumpkin Soup ♥

Spiced Pumpkin Soup, spiced not spicy, smooth and pumpkin-y, sweetened with banana. #AVeggieVenture #PointsPlus2
graphic button small size size 10 This pumpkin soup is "spiced" – not "spicy". They're different, yes? It's smooth and pumpkin-y without being overly rich and overly spiced, and slightly sweet from banana. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe & photo updated 2011~
~more recently updated recipes~

ORIGINAL POST 2005 To quote my Nana, never one to pussyfoot, "Well, it sure looks like the dog's breakfast." Luckily it tastes much better! Still, it's an unusual variation of soup made from winter squashes which are usually spiked with spices that create depth and heat. This, however, is thick with spices usually reserved for baking. When I make it again, I'll serve in small bowls as a starter rather than as a hearty bowl of soup. I'll also puree it to a smooth richness which will also improve the appearance.

2011 UPDATE So back in 2005, this soup looked as bad as you can imagine but tasted good. This year, I skipped the bananas and the half & half, I just didn't want a soup that rich and sweet. I also skipped blending the soup, to give some texture. Wow. What a difference. The flavor of the pumpkin really came through, so did the spices. But again – it's "spiced" but not "spicy", there's a difference, yes? Back in 2007, this soup didn't warrant a ♥ but in 2011 it definitely does.

PUMPKIN THREE WAYS Spiced Pumpkin Soup. Those croutons in the photograph? They're cubes of Pumpkin Corn Bread, dried in a 350F oven til crispy (and if I might say so, addictively good) and that's Pumpkin Hummus drizzled with honey and just wonderful.

TRAVEL the WORLD A few weeks back, a note arrived from an Australian reader (Hi, Kathryn!) who'd been poking around the Recipe Box and wondered why there weren't more more pumpkin recipes. What we quickly figured out is that many varieties of what in the U.S. are called "winter squash" are called "pumpkin" in Australia. It was a list on Gourmet Traveler (now offline) that confirmed our suspicion, that "butternut pumpkin" and "kabocha pumpkin" are also "butternut squash" and "kabocha squash". We also learned that Australia doesn't have ready access to the canned pumpkin puree (which actually is often mostly squash puree) which, in my experience, has far more flavor than any roasted and pureed pumpkin coming out of my kitchen, anyway. So, now you know, too! And yes, the Recipe Box has plenty of "winter squash" aka "pumpkin" recipes!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes
Makes 6 cups

4 cups low-sodium no-fat chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 ripe bananas, chopped (2011, skipped the bananas)
1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 bay leaf
1 whole clove
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled between fingers
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon curry powder (I used madras)

2 cups 100% pure pumpkin purée (2005, canned pumpkin and 2011, Homemade Kabocha Squash Pumpkin Purée)

1 cup fat-free half & half (2011, skipped)

Bring the broth to a boil in the microwave (this is a time-saving trick that may be omitted if you're in no rush). In a Dutch oven, heat the butter on MEDIUM until shimmery. Add the carrot, celery, onion and banana as they're prepped, stirring well with each addition to coat with fat, then stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft and just beginning to brown. Stir in the bay leaf, clove and spices and stir to combine. Stir in pumpkin, add hot broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover and let cook until vegetables are fully cooked. Remove bay leaf and clove. With an immersion blender, puree soup til smooth. (Alternatively, transfer to a blender in batches, filling it no more than half to avoid the top exploding.) Return to hot pot, stir in half & half and rewarm. Serve and enjoy!

2005 For whatever reason, this soup took a full four or five days for the flavor to come out. Once it did, wow, it was really good. That's a long to wait, I know ...
2005 The inspiring recipe called for unsweetened coconut milk and 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk rather than half & half.

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Still Hungry?


~ My Favorite Pumpkin Recipes ~

~ How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin ~
~ Stuffed Pumpkin with Apple & Cranberry ~
~ Honey Pumpkin Pie ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Autumn Pumpkin Bread ~
~ Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins ~
~ Fall Stew Baked in a Whole Pumpkin ~
~ more pumpkin recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007, 2011, 2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I smiled when you said it took a few days for the flavor to come out. I think it's the pumpkin, not you. It needs some coaxing to get the flavor to shine, doesn't it? With the medley of spices you used in your recipe, the soup sounds wonderfully fragrant and tasty.

    :) to Nana for a kicker of a quote!

  2. I love pumpkin soup in the winter, especially with that touch of curry. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Scott ~ Thanks and ditto, for sure!

    Susan ~ There must be a dozen or more Nana-isms kicking around the family even some 25 years after her death. I'd forgotten this one 'til my Dad reminded me recently when I served him something that looked less than appealing! ... And interesting re the pumpkin taking so long. I guess I just don't have the patience for I've virtually given up on starting with my own pumpkin, even the ones that're supposed to be so good.

    Christine ~ Yes, curry's good!

  4. Do you think this recipe could be adapted for the crockpot?

    And if so..what would you change?

  5. Valerie ~ Why yes, I think it could. I would cook the carrots, onion, celery etc in a skillet beforehand, then add all except the half 'n' half to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 - 5 hours. Then I'd add the half 'n' half and heat through. Let me know if you try this!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna