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When the days start shortening, it signifies the arrival of soup season. This warm and comforting curried pumpkin soup is a fall classic with a delicious, curried twist – but the real star of this show is the warming maple and ginger caramelized onions!
Is your soup season calling for more pumpkin? Try this pumpkin soup with maple bacon onions.
Pumpkin is the perfect vessel to carry warming curry flavors. The mix of savory, spicy, sweet, and bitter components melt right into the naturally sweet and slightly earthy taste of pumpkin. This pumpkin curry soup is easy enough to make on a chilly weekday evening but will also hold its own at the start of a dinner party. Plus, it's also gluten-free and full of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and other nutrients!
With its symphony of rich, flavorful, and creamy goodness, it's the perfect comfort food for the crisp autumn and winter evenings.
This curry pumpkin soup recipe calls for many pantry staples:
- Oil: use whatever you have on hand – olive oil or coconut oil work well.
- Yellow onion: one for the topping, and one for the soup.
- Ginger and garlic: for warm, aromatic flavors.
- Curry powder: adds the rich and complex flavor we came here for!
- Turmeric: for a warm, bitter undertone and beautiful vibrant yellow.
- Red pepper flakes: brings the kick- adjust according to your preferences.
- Pumpkin puree: The creamy, hearty base of the soup.
- Apple: sweetens and balances flavors.
- Orange juice: Adds a citrus tang.
- Milk / cream: The ratio of 2 cups of milk to 1 cup of cream make the soup creamy without being too rich.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper: to your taste.
How to make pumpkin soup
This soup tastes like it has been simmering away for hours, but it takes a total time of just 30 minutes! Here is how to do it:
- Make the caramelized onion topping: Saute the sliced onion until lightly browned, then add the maple syrup, ginger, and sea salt and let it cook down for around 10 minutes, until the onions are beautifully caramelized.
- Begin the soup: In a large soup pot, heat up some oil and add the onion, ginger, garlic, spices, and the apple and let everything mingle until the onions are tender.
- Blend it up: Stir in the canned pumpkin puree and orange juice, then transfer everything to a food processor or blender along with the milk and puree until velvety smooth.
- Bring it all together: Return the soup to the pot and let it gently simmer. Then, season with salt and pepper.
- Time to dine: Serve in bowls and top with caramelized onions and croutons – enjoy!
Variations to try
Want to mix things up, or use up ingredients left in the fridge? There are plenty of ways to add a personal touch:
- Toppings: Think crispy bacon or pancetta for a savory and salty touch, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts for crunch, or herbs like fresh cilantro, parsley, or chives. A dollop of sour cream or yogurt also adds creamy richness.
- Croutons: store bought or homemade both work great. If you want to elevate your crouton game, try bacon croutons, garlic parmesan croutons, or mini soup croutons.
- Soup base: Sneak in more veggies for extra nutrition, like pureed carrot. Use up another winter squash as the base of the soup. Out of milk or cream? Throw in some coconut milk for another dimension of flavor.
- Grated cheese: Some grated parmesan, cheddar, or goat cheese will melt right in, giving your soup savory, cheesy goodness.
- Serving suggestion: For charming presentation you can ladle your soup into little hollowed-out pumpkins. So festive!
What to serve with pumpkin soup
- Other sides: This soup pairs well with fall or wintery salads, such as a bacon kale ceasar salad or a roasted winter green salad.
- Sandwiches: Is any duo more classic than soup with a grilled cheese? For a little kick alongside your soup, try this sriracha apple grilled cheese! Or indulge in a flavorful pork belly sandwich or this classic bacon sandwich – the salty, crispy bacon is perfect alongside the pumpkin soup!
- Mains: If soup is your starter, follow it with a succulent pork tenderloin or match the flavors with an orange cranberry roast chicken.
Which apples are best in this recipe?
Go for apples on the sweeter side, like gala or fujis. Their natural sweetness will enhance the flavors just right!
Can I make this dairy-free or vegan?
We've made this recipe using both almond milk and water instead of regular milk, and both variations turned out wonderfully. Another option is coconut milk, which not only provides a non-dairy creamy base but adds a coconut-y element to the flavor!
If you choose to omit the milk and cream, the soup will have a thinner consistency. To balance this, consider adding extra pumpkin puree or blending in starchy puree vegetables such as cooked potato or carrot puree.
How does this recipe keep?
Let leftover soup cool to room temperature, then store an in airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. When reheating, try not to boil the soup as it can change the texture. If it thickens upon reheating, add a splash of water.
If you want to store it for longer, leave some space in the container for expansion and then put it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, transfer it to the fridge the day before you plan to reheat.
The Maple Ginger Onions
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 large yellow onion (thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- A pinch of sea salt
The Curried Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 large yellow onion (diced)
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 1 large apple (peeled, cored and diced)
- 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT canned pumpkin pie mix!)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 3 cups milk and/or cream (see notes)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
- Add the oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook till very soft and lightly browned, about 5 or 6 minutes.2 tablespoons oil, 1 large yellow onion
- Add the maple syrup, ginger, and sea salt and reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring often, until the onions are thick and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside.¼ cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, A pinch of sea salt
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, red pepper flakes, and apple and sauté until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.2 tablespoons oil, 1 large yellow onion, 2 tablespoons chopped ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 large apple
- Stir in the pumpkin and orange juice and then transfer everything in the soup pot to a food processor or blender. Add the milk and puree until smooth.15 ounce can pumpkin puree, ¼ cup orange juice, 3 cups milk and/or cream
- Return the soup to the pot and bring it to a gentle simmer. Season the soup with salt and pepper.Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls (or mini pumpkins) and top with caramelized onions and croutons. Enjoy!
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.