A classic winter warmer – pumpkin soup

Talk about chilly, winter has arrived in Melbourne and sunk its teeth into the very bones of the city that I call home. Even the more hardcore members of Melbourne’s Miniskirt Mafia (the slightly insane girls who prance about in miniskirts regardless of the weather) appear to have conceded defeat to the numbing winds and close to freezing point morning temperatures.

Looking at the lunches that my colleagues bring to work on a daily basis, it appears that the arrival of nipple-freezing weather launches the start of instant soup season – packets and tins of pre-made /powdered soups do roaring trade, and the slurps are aplenty come mealtime.

Whilst packet cake mixes (f*ck you, white wings and greens instant cake and pancake mixes) are what most drive me to fits of irrational rage, pre-made soup follows a close second. The main reason for this is that soup is possibly one of the easiest things in the world to make, so the idea that people are purchasing something as basic as pumpkin soup instead of spending a little time and love in their kitchens gives me a bit of a crazy-person eye-twitch.

As far as pumpkin soup recipes go, at last count I had accumulated over twenty different recipes through my food magazines and cookbooks, and the range of flavours goes from a basic roasted vegetable to mixtures of different spices and flavours aiming to complicate what really should be a dish that celebrates and revolves around the buttery, sweet flavour that cooked pumpkin provides.

This recipe, as far as soup recipes go, really could not get any easier. Sure, it takes a little time and a little elbow grease and grunt work, but the payoff is a deliciously smooth and sweet soup that you’ve made yourself from scratch, instead of purchasing a powdered/tinned/vacuum-sealed baggie full of soup manufactured in a factory somewhere with claims of being ‘just like homemade’.

Because (and let’s be frank) there ain’t anything ‘homemade’ about a hermetically sealed doggy bag of soup, no matter how the manufacturers wish it to be so!

Pumpkin Soup

800g pumpkin, peeled and cubed (my preference is actually for half butternut and half Kent)
1 large brown onion, roughly diced
2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 knob unsalted butter
1L stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt & pepper to taste
Cream & fresh chives, to serve

1. Put a large pot onto a medium heat, then add the butter and allow it to brown. Add the onion and garlic and cook till the onion is translucent, then add the pumpkin and stir to combine.

2. Saute till the pumpkin begins to soften, then add the cumin and paprika and continue to cook for another minute or two. Pour in the stock, bring the pot to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook till the pumpkin is completely soft and begins to disintegrate.

3. Allow the soup to cool, then blitz with a blender/immersion blender till completely smooth. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook till the mixture thickens up slightly.

4. Plate up while hot, and serve with a dollop of cream and some freshly snipped chives, and with a nice crusty roll on the side.

[tags]winter, recipe, savoury, vegetarian, pumpkin soup, soup[/tags]


  1. I agree. The idea of instant powdered soups or ones from the can doesn’t appeal to me. Though I do have room in my life for ready-made ones in bags. Well, so long as it’s a good quality one and I’m not the one paying for it :)

    Pumpkin soup isn’t that much effort for the return you get, especially if you make in large batches. I find that it freezes pretty well too.

  2. What great timing! I was searching for a pumpkin soup recipe all day today, while I lay in bed all phlegmy and shick. I’m at my third day in bed, and I’m sure my leg muscles have atrophied by now. I’ve made it my goal to get out of the house and make pumpkin soup tomorrow!

  3. You are a girl after my own heart, with your mix-hating, soup-making, bad a$$ self. I haven’t made a box cake mix since living on my own, and my pantry currently has a container of homemade pancake mix ready to go, just add buttermilk, et. al. As for soups…I’m not sure I’ve seen the doggy-bags you speak of, but I’m sure I just haven’t been looking. As it’s summer here, I will have to table this recipe until the cooler weather prevails and the pumpkins start to appear at the market. But it’s on my list!

    Anyway, I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


  4. That looks like just what I need right now! It’s been getting colder of late, and pumpkin soup never gets boring.

  5. I’m going to live vicariously through you because I love winter and all its snuggly goodness. Though the rest of the US is reveling in picnics, family reunions and cannonball dives into the neighbohood pool, I miss the chill in the air, the colors of Fall, and the impending arrival of the winter holidays. 😀

  6. Love your blog! This soup looks so delicious and simple–it’s summer here and a bit hot for soup but I’ve bookmarked this page.

  7. It’s the same for me, it’s summer here and I’m preparing my suitcase for summer holiday!! but your photos are beautiful and I note the recipe for later…

  8. Manufactured soups (or foods) never taste right. Unfortunately, I’m running into an increasing number of people who hold instafood flavour as the benchmark of deliciousness. Augh. Give me real soup any day. Your soup looks beautiful.


  9. Feel free to pick up an award for you on my blog. Greetings. :roll:

  10. thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I adore homemade soup and all its conatations, and abhor tinned or packeted versions of the above….make soup share the love all it takes is a little time in the kitchen and you have a weeks worth of workaday lunches :)dinners snacks get your 5 a day the easy way!

  11. Sounds wonderful and what a gorgeous colour!

  12. I share your love of pumpkin soup and horror of packet cake mixes but I do succumb to the tinned soups occasionally

  13. Hearty is the perfect word to describe this soup. I made my own version recently, I should know! :)

  14. Cheers for this wonderful recipe. I’ve been looking for one for ages. Really makes my day.

  15. You’ve been given an award, please check out my blog for details!!

  16. Christine says:

    Even though it is summer here this looks like it would be perfect on one of our chilly nights. Our summer isn’t the warmest so soup has still been involved within a lot of meal plans.

    Great recipe, thanks for sharing this.


  17. i love pumpkin soup and yours looks fantastic. thanks for the recipe!

  18. this is my kind of winter soup… too bad for me it’s still summer here

  19. Just made this with butternut squash, I find it gives a stronger flavour then with pumpkin. Awesome recipe, and so easy too! Thanks!

  20. After looking for a close-to-traditional recipe on Google, and finding interesting variations instead, I found this site.
    I used half a crown pumpkin, skipped on the cream (because mine had gone off) and subbed Italian parsley in for chives.

    Let me say that this is a delicious recipe. There’s this amazing nutty silkiness to it, probably from the butter. Even without the addition of cream it’s divine. The seasonings are not intrusive, they melt in with the rest of the flavours and enhance them.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  21. @Jimllmixit http://t.co/1tWZun1v

  22. NevadaVoter1 says:

    Made the winter pumpkin soup by myself to surprise my wife who is a native Australian. I was amazed at how simple it was to prepare and how good it tasted. Gave me the confidence to try something more challenging!

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