See how to make the best pumpkin soup without cream or milk. This vibrant vegetarian pumpkin soup has a wonderful sweet-savory flavor and is ready in under 1 hour, perfect for busy weeknights. Made with minimal ingredients, you’ll enjoy this easy pumpkin soup all fall and winter long.
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Easy pumpkin soup with fresh pumpkin
Can we agree that a warm bowl of soup is one of the best recipes when it comes to comforting meals? Our mom always used to cook pumpkin soup on chilly fall and winter nights, and now I’m making it for my family.
This vegan pumpkin soup is not only loaded with flavor. It’s made with wholesome ingredients, adding lots of good nutrition. And to make the soup suitable for all dietary requirements, we’re skipping the cream. Be sure to keep this recipe handy for Thanksgiving and whenever you want healthy comfort food!
This no cream pumpkin soup recipe was originally published in October 2017 and updated with new content and fresh photos in October 2021.
Can you make pumpkin soup without cream?
Yes, you can absolutely make pumpkin soup without cream or coconut milk! I’ll show you an easy recipe for dairy-free pumpkin soup and share plenty of tips to get the perfect creamy consistency.
Why this easy pumpkin soup recipe works
This is one of the best pumpkin soup recipes, and here are all the reasons why:
- Everyone can enjoy it! This soup is vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free, meaning everyone in your family can enjoy it.
- Comfort food: You can serve this no cream pumpkin soup as an entrée or main dish. It tastes all season long and is great for Thanksgiving and other fall celebrations.
- Easy: The ingredients are simple, and the recipe is ready in under 1 hour.
- One-pot: It’s a one-pot recipe for quick clean-up afterward.
- Freezer-friendly:Soup is great for meal prep and freezes well.
Pumpkin soup ingredients
This simple pumpkin soup recipe is both heart + healthy, and you only need pantry staples plus pumpkin. Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients:
- Pumpkin: You need about 9 cups fresh pumpkin chopped into small cubes so that it cooks evenly. The pumpkin is sautéed for 10 minutes to develop a roasted aroma. I prefer fresh pumpkin, but frozen will work, too.
- Onion and garlic add so much flavor to this pumpkin recipe. You could use pre-minced garlic, but I like to throw in whole garlic cloves – the blender will puree them later.
- Vegetable stock makes the consistency perfect while adding extra flavor. I used vegetable broth to make the pumpkin soup vegan, but you can swap in chicken or beef broth if preferred.
- Olive oil adds flavor and keeps the pumpkin and onion from sticking when they are sautéing.
- Brown sugar enhances the natural sweetness of the pumpkin and creates the best aroma.
- Salt and ground black pepper round out the other flavors.
The full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
How much stock do I need?
The vegetable to water ratio is really important when it comes to preparing the best pumpkin soup. You can easily change the texture and consistency of your pumpkin soup by adjusting the amount of stock you’re using.
- 4 cups: For the creamiest texture, use only 4 cups of stock. I love this version when I serve pumpkin soup as the main dish.
- 6 cups: 6 cups of stock will result in a lighter soup perfect for an entrée.
How to make pumpkin soup without cream
The best thing about this easy pumpkin soup? It’s incredibly easy to make. Here are the easy steps to make pumpkin soup from scratch:
Step 1: Sautee the vegetables
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pot on medium-high flame.
- Add the onion, pumpkin, and brown sugar.
- Stir occasionally and sauté for 10 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and the sugar has melted.
Step 2: Cook the soup
- Add the vegetable stock and garlic cloves. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Once boiling, put the lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low.
- Let the pumpkin soup simmer for 20 minutes.
- The soup is done once the pumpkin is very soft and can be easily squished with the back of a spoon or fork.
Step 3: Puree the soup
- Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. Alternatively, blend the soup in small batches in a stand blender.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper according to your taste.
Step 4: Adjust texture (optional)
- If the soup seems too thin, return it to the stovetop and cook over low heat until the soup thickens to your desired consistency. You can also thin down the soup with additional stock if the soup seems too thick.
Step 5: Serve
- Serve the soup warm topped with a drizzle of oil, crunchy croutons, fresh herbs, and a few cracks of black pepper.
Tip for the best no cream pumpkin soup
- Sautéing the vegetables wakes up the flavors. Pumpkin develops a delicious roast aroma, and the onions caramelize and become aromatic – it really makes a difference. Be sure to maintain medium heat, so the veggies don’t burn and stir occasionally.
- Don’t skip the brown sugar. Although it may seem like an odd choice for soup, brown sugar helps caramelize the pumpkin and onion and makes the vegetables more aromatic.
- Let the soup cool for 10 minutes if pureeing the soup with a stand blender. Otherwise, hot soup will spill everywhere. I prefer an immersion blender because you don’t have to wait, and it’s less messy. You can blend the soup directly in the pot.
- Double the recipe to make a large batch for easy meal prep.
How to make soup creamy without cream
Wondering how to thicken pumpkin soup without cream? You can have the creamiest, dreamiest pumpkin soup without cream or milk. Just try my 4 easy strategies:
- Use less stock. Reducing the amount of cooking liquids is the best wax to ensure your pumpkin soup turns out thick and creamy. As mentioned earlier, 4 cups are best to achieve a creamy texture.
- Boil down the soup if you add too much liquid. A simple way to thicken pumpkin soup is to continue cooking the soup. First, puree the soup as indicated in the recipe instructions. Then cook the soup on high heat until creamy. Pureed pumpkin soup cooks very bubbly. Be sure to stir constantly and put on an oven mitt to avoid splashes of hot soup on your hand.
- Add canned pumpkin. My favorite way to thicken pumpkin soup quickly is adding canned pumpkin. It intensifies the pumpkin aroma and is so simple. You need 1/2 to 1 can, depending on the desired consistency. Simply stir the canned pumpkin into the soup after cooking.
- Drizzle with olive oil before serving. Olive oil does the same thing as cream: it creates a velvety texture and enhances the taste of the other ingredients.
- Pumpkin soup thickens as it cools. Pumpkin soup is more liquidy right after cooking but thickens as it cools.
- And if the soup becomes too thick? Easy! Add more stock to thin out the texture.
- Pumpkin coconut soup: Prepare pumpkin soup with coconut milk if you love a mild, creamy taste. Simply blend in 8-oz / 225 g / 1/2 can coconut milk after the soup is done cooking. You may need to increase the amount of salt to balance out the flavor.
- Spicy pumpkin soup: Add 1 tbsp curry powder when you sauté the vegetables and replace the black pepper with ground cayenne to make a spicy pumpkin soup. It’s so good and warming!
- Turmeric pumpkin soup: Season the soup with 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric.
- Pumpkin soup without stock: If you don’t have stock, simply cook the soup with water and more salt, spices, and herbs to create depth of aroma. I love adding 1/4 tsp thyme or rosemary.
- Gluten-free pumpkin soup: The soup is already gluten-free. The only thing left to do is substitute the croutons with your favorite gluten-free topping, for example, roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Keto pumpkin soup: Omit the brown sugar to make this easy pumpkin soup low carb and keto-friendly.
- Add protein to turn the soup into a full meal. You can opt for a vegetarian option like roasted tofu or white beans, or crispy bacon, crumbled sausage, grilled shrimp, or mini meatballs.
What to serve with pumpkin soup
Pumpkin soup without cream is plenty delicious on its own, but I like to add a few extras for a truly cozy fall meal. Serve up your homemade pumpkin soup with:
- Croutons: Crunchy, roasted croutons perfectly complement the slightly sweet, creamy pumpkin soup. It’s pure perfection!
- Parmesan: Sprinkle your soup with parmesan shavings. The cheese will melt into the hot soup and taste oh-so-delicious.
- Fresh bread: You can never go wrong with a side of warm, crusty bread or hearty focaccia.
- Salad: Fall salads like roasted apple salad are a good combination.
- Vegetable sides like these oven-roasted winter veggies make a good meal alongside your vegetarian pumpkin soup.
- Grilled cheese: Serve the soup with grilled cheese for the ultimate fall comfort food.
Dairy-free pumpkin soup FAQ
What is the best pumpkin for fresh pumpkin soup?
Eating pumpkin (e.g., sugar pumpkin, cheese pumpkin, Dickinson pumpkin) or butternut squash are best for pumpkin soup with fresh pumpkin. Don’t use carving pumpkins. Although edible, they lack flavor.
Look for blemish-free pumpkins without browning or soft spots that sound hollow when knocked. The flesh should be brightly colored and not fibrous or stringy.
Do you have to peel pumpkin for soup?
Yes, you have to peel pumpkin for soup because the skin is tough and won’t puree. The only exception is Hokkaido pumpkin, which has a skin that cooks soft and tender. This is what you do:
- Remove seeds. First, scrape the seeds out. You can save them for making roasted pumpkin seeds.
- Slice pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into 2 in / 5 cm slices.
- Peel. The remove the skin with a vegetable peeler or small paring knife. Pumpkin is slippery, so be careful not to cut yourself.
- Dice. Cut each slice into 1 in / 2.5 cm chunks.
Can I use chicken stock or beef broth?
Sure! Feel free to cook this easy fall soup with chicken or beef broth if your pumpkin soup doesn’t have to be vegetarian/vegan.
Can I use different seasonings?
Of course! I kept the seasonings minimal, but you can season your pumpkin soup with cayenne pepper, ground nutmeg, smoked paprika, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, or coriander for a different flavor.
Is pumpkin soup healthy?
Yes, this soup is healthy and nutritious. Pumpkin is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is said to have a positive effect on gut health and digestion.
Pumpkin soup without cream calories
1 serving of pumpkin soup has 154 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g protein, 17 g carbs, 10 g sugar, and 2 g fiber. The full nutrition info can be found in the recipe card below.
How to store pumpkin soup
Store leftover pumpkin soup in an airtight food container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Can you freeze pumpkin soup?
Yes, pumpkin soup is easy to freeze! Let the soup cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for 5 to 6 months. I like to freeze soup in single-serve containers because it’s easier to portion.
How long does pumpkin soup last?
- Room temperature: Pumpkin soup can be left out at room temp not longer than 2 hours. Add the soup to a crockpot to keep it warm if you’re serving over a period of time.
- Refrigerator: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- Freezer: Pumpkin soup freezes well! Pour in a freezer-safe container with 1 in / 2.5 cm space at the top, so the soup has room to expand as it freezes. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. De-thaw in the fridge overnight.
Can you make pumpkin soup ahead?
Yes, you can make pumpkin soup without cream up to 4 days ahead of time. It’s perfect for meal prep, and I’ll often prepare a double batch. In fact, I think pumpkin soup is even better on the second day.
Make the recipe ahead of time, let the soup cool to room temperature, and pop it in the fridge to let the flavors mesh together. When you’re ready to eat, warm it back up for a quick meal.
If you plan to make this during the week and want to save time, dice the pumpkin and onion before and store them in a food container in the fridge until cooking.
How to reheat pumpkin soup
Reheat pumpkin soup in a pot or saucepan on the stove or in the microwave. Bring the soup to a boil to eliminate bacteria and ensure it’s safe to eat.
- 9 cups / 1 kg / 2 lb pumpkin, gutted, peeled, and cut into 1 in / 2.5 cm cubes
- 2 large onions, roughly diced (approx. 2 cups / 250 g / 8.8 oz – can sub for leeks or shallots)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbsp olive oil (can sub for another neutral-tasting cooking oil)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 cups / 1 l / 32 fl oz vegetable stock (use 6 cups / 1.4 l / 48 fl oz for a lighter texture)
- 1 to 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt (or more/less according to your taste)
- ground black pepper, according to preference
- Sauté the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom pot on medium-high flame. Add the onion, pumpkin, and brown sugar. Stir occasionally and sauté for 10 minutes until the onion becomes translucent and the sugar has melted.
- Cook the soup. Add the vegetable stock and garlic cloves. Bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, put the lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low. Let the pumpkin soup simmer for 20 minutes. The soup is done once the pumpkin is very soft and can be easily squished with the back of a spoon or fork.
- Puree the soup. Using an immersion blender, puree the vegetables until smooth. Alternatively, blend the soup in small batches in a stand blender. Season with salt and ground black pepper according to your taste.
- Adjust texture (optional). If the soup seems too thin, return it to the stovetop and cook over low heat until the soup thickens to your desired consistency. You can also thin down the soup with additional stock if the soup seems too thick.
- Serve. Serve the soup warm topped with a drizzle of oil, crunchy croutons, fresh herbs, and a few cracks of black pepper.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1030mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g