You won't believe how simple, yet wildly flavorful this Thai Pumpkin Soup is. Healthy, gluten free, and made in just 30 minutes, this vegan pumpkin soup recipe is fall perfection.
Why You'll Love this Thai Pumpkin Soup
You truly can't beat creamy, cozy soups like this once the temperature starts dropping. Especially a spicy pumpkin soup with warm notes of curry and a slew of aromatics.
This soup comes together in just 30 minutes and holds up for DAYS after it's made. Enjoy it on repeat for quick weekday lunches or dinners, or freeze half the batch for later.
I love topping each bowl with pumpkin seeds for crunch, and cilantro for a pop for freshness. You can also serve this pumpkin soup with warm pita or cinnamon-dusted pita chips. As long as it makes its way into your fall recipe repertoire, you're in for a treat.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
- Aromatics: This base of this vegan pumpkin soup starts with onion and carrots. You can use a yellow, brown, or sweet onion--whatever you have on hand. The carrots add bright, vegetal sweetness, plus help deepen the orange hue of the soup.
- Red Curry Paste: This is a staple flavoring agent in my Thai-inspired cooking. Red curry paste is made from dried chilies, herbs, aromatics, and seeds. It typically includes garlic, Galangal, lemongrass, coriander, and cumin seeds, and is so incredibly flavorful. You can find it in most well-stocked grocery stores in the international aisle.
- Tomato Paste: Most vegetarian soups need some sort of umami booster, and tomato paste is one of my go-to's. The key is to cook down the tomato paste until it turns brick red and begins sticking to the pan. This helps unlock its full flavor potential, which makes the soup infinitely more savory.
- Canned Pumpkin: You need one 15-oz. can of pure pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling) for this soup. I prefer Libby's brand, however any generic brand will do the job.
- Vegetable Broth: I recommend low sodium, so that you can better control the amount of salt. You can also use chicken or bone broth if you're not making this spicy pumpkin soup vegan.
- Coconut Milk: To finish the Thai pumpkin soup with luscious richness, you need 1 cup of full-fat canned coconut milk. If you're looking for a lower saturated fat alternative, you can also use cashew cream here. For a tutorial on homemade cashew cream, see the instructions at the bottom of this post.
And then, of course, there's the garnishes, which I go more into below. (Because, truly, what is soup without toppings?)
Step 1: Sauté the Onion and Carrots
Start by heating a glug of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and carrots, and cook until the veggies start to soften, around 8 minutes. (Note: the carrots won't soften nearly as much as the onion, however they'll continue to cook as the soup simmers.)
Step 2: Add Curry Paste, Tomato Paste, and Spices
Stir in the curry paste, tomato paste, garlic, and ginger. Cook this mixture for around 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste turns brick red and starts sticking to the pan.
Step 3: Add Pumpkin Puree and Broth
Next, add the pumpkin puree and broth, and stir well to combine. Use a wooden spoon to release any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Step 4: Simmer Soup
Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat and let the soup gently simmer for about 15 minutes. You'll notice the soup start to slightly reduce and thicken.
Step 5: Blend until Smooth
Carefully transfer the soup to a high power blender using a ladle. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and blend until smooth.
Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and blend the soup right in the pot!
Step 6: Stir in Coconut Milk
Pour the blended pumpkin soup back in the pot and stir in the coconut milk. If needed, reheat for another 1 to 2 minutes, though the soup should still be quite hot. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls and add garnishes of choice!
Toppings and Dishes that Go Well with Pumpkin Soup
- Toppings. The options are endless when it comes to garnishing this Thai pumpkin soup. My personal favorites are toasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and fresh cilantro. You can also add a dollop of Greek or coconut milk yogurt, crumbled cinnamon pita chips, pomegranate arils, or chopped pecans. For spicy pumpkin soup, try adding a couple drops of chili oil, too.
- Salad. For a fresh, crunchy side, serve this hearty soup with a salad. I particularly love it with a Brussels salad, like this 10 Minute Shaved Brussels Salad or Shredded Brussels and Pear Salad.
- Vegetables. Roasted, sautéed, or grilled veggies are a fabulous complement to this soup. For something speedy, try my 15 minute Perfect Sautéed Broccoli recipe. Alternatively, this 5 ingredient Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Honey is a reader favorite, and guaranteed to impress!
- Sandwich. You can't go wrong with a restaurant-style soup and sandwich combo! These Crispy Eggplant Sandwiches are a personal favorite for a vegetarian option. For non-vegan diners, try these meal prep-friendly Green Goddess Chicken Salad Sandwiches.
Recommended Tools to Make Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Immersion Blender: it makes pureeing soups like this one easier (and safer) than transferring the piping hot soup mixture to a blender. I've been using this one for the last two years, and love it! It also comes with different attachments for blending baking mixes or frothing a latte.
- Blender: I love my Kitchenaid K400 blender, and use it very often. Some say it's comparable to the Vitamix, just much more affordable.
- Dutch Oven: I use my Lodge Enameled 6-qt Dutch Oven for every single homemade soup recipe. It’s a staple piece on my stovetop, and has endless functionality. Lodge is also quite a bit cheaper than Cuisinart, yet just as good quality, in my opinion.
- Ladle: For transferring the soup to the blender (and to your bowl!), you need a reliable ladle. This one is sleek, affordable, and versatile.
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze:
- TO STORE: Store cooked pumpkin soup in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
- TO REHEAT: For best results, reheat soup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave, however it requires frequent stopping and stirring. Otherwise, you end up with soup that's scorching on the top, and barely heated through on the bottom.
- TO FREEZE: Let soup cool until it's close to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container or freezer-safe gallon ziptop bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating for best results.
More Vegan Soup Recipes to Try
Thai Pumpkin Soup (Vegan, 30 Minutes)
- Dutch oven or large soup pot
- Blender or immersion blender
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree (such as Libby's brand)
- 4 cups (1 quart) lower-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- Optional garnishes: toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), cilantro, green onion, pomegranate arils
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and carrots; cook until the veggies start to soften, around 8 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, curry paste, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste turns brick red and starts sticking to the pan. Add salt and pumpkin spice.
- Add pumpkin puree and broth; stir well to combine. Use a wooden spoon to release any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the soup to a high power blender using a ladle. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and blend the soup right in the pot!)
- Pour blended soup back into pot and stir in coconut milk. If needed, reheat for another 1 to 2 minutes, though the soup should still be quite hot. Stir in lime juice, ladle soup into bowls, and add garnishes of choice.