Vegan Pumpkin Soup
October sneaks up on me. Before I’ve realized it’s happened, the initial “not yet!” bristling I felt towards pumpkin-spiced everything when it first appeared at the grocery store has yielded to a strong hankering for all things cozy and autumn and yes, pumpkin. If you are feeling the fall love too, then this Vegan Pumpkin Soup is exactly the recipe for you.
When we think of pumpkin recipes, baked goods like Almond Flour Pumpkin Muffins and Vegan Pumpkin Bread and desserts like Pumpkin Sheet Cake and Vegan Pumpkin Pie are often the first that come to mind (a certain celebrity beverage not withstanding).
Pumpkin, however, is absolutely fantastic in savory recipes too (just see this list of Healthy Pumpkin Recipes for proof). Pumpkin is mild, healthy, and the fact that it can be purchased in convenient, ready-to-go cans means that it is one of the quickest ingredients you can use to create easy, nutritious meals.
Last year, I made my first foray into using canned pumpkin to make pumpkin soup with this warming Pumpkin Curry Soup, and it became one of my go-to fast fall and winter dinners. From there, I snuck canned pumpkin into Instant Pot Paleo Chili (OMG! So good!).
For today’s recipe, I was craving pumpkin at its purest. October has stolen my fancy (and appetite).
This easy pumpkin soup recipe is fall flavor at its most classic. It’s made with a touch of maple syrup, warm spices, and will remind you of harvests, holiday tables, and the beauty of seeing leaves turn crimson against a crisp, blue October sky.
Despite its dairy-free status, this soup is velvety and creamy. I used one of my favorite healthy soup hacks to give it richness and body, without the need for a speck of cream. I even made this vegan pumpkin soup without coconut milk! You can use almond milk (or any milk you have on hand).
Ready for an unabashedly autumn, pumpkin-tastic soup to take you into October with aplomb? Let’s make Vegan Pumpkin Soup!
How to Make the Best Vegan Pumpkin Soup (EASY AND HEALTHY!)
Pumpkin is mild on its own, making it a fantastic canvas. The below ingredients are a quintessential, cozy way to add flavor to pumpkin soup.
- Canned Pumpkin. Making vegan pumpkin soup using canned pumpkin is a fabulous weeknight dinner shortcut. There’s honestly no need to roast a whole pumpkin to make it. Canned pumpkin soup is nutritious, silky, and makes it possible to get this healthy pumpkin soup on the table, pronto.
- Maple Syrup. Pumpkin and maple are a dream team of fall flavor! The maple syrup gives this soup a hint of sweetness and balance. For the best flavor, be sure to use pure maple syrup and not imitation maple syrup.
- Nutmeg, Cumin, and Coriander. What would pumpkin be without its spice counterparts? Each of these spices complements the pumpkin and adds a cozy warmth to every bite.
- Almond Milk. You’ll never guess that there’s almond milk in this soup instead of creamy or coconut milk. If you don’t have almond milk, you can use any milk you have on hand.
- Cauliflower. Surprise! Cauliflower gives this soup thickness and body, but you won’t be able to taste it. It’s a trick I use in both this Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup and this Instant Pot Carrot Soup, and I’m hooked. Plus, the extra fiber and nutrients in cauliflower make this pumpkin soup even more healthy for you.
- Almond Butter. Another surprise star soup ingredient. Almond butter gives the soup the touch of richness it needs and provides healthy fats; the flavor is mild, so it won’t stand out, and it makes the pumpkin soup more satisfying.
- Vegetable Broth. I recommend low sodium, so that you can better control the amount of salt.
- First, grab your Dutch oven (or a similar big, sturdy pot) and saute the cauliflower, onion, salt, and pepper. Once they’re softened, stir in the garlic and additional spices for about 30 seconds. (This is when the good smells start!)
- Next, add in the broth, pumpkin, maple syrup, and almond butter. Bring it all to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is softened. Now, stir in your almond milk. Almost done!
- To puree the soup, use either an immersion blender or transfer small amounts to a blender (hot liquids splatter; only fill your blender about halfway). Afterwards, return the pureed soup back to your pot.
- Lastly, garnish your soup with pumpkin seeds, chopped fresh parsley, pomegranate seeds, or any other toppings you desire (I’ve listed tons of great options below). Serve hot, and prepare to be transported to a cozy, fall wonderland!
Toppings and Dishes That Go Well With Pumpkin Soup
- Toppings. This soup has a topping option for every taste bud! Toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, a swirl of coconut cream, Greek yogurt (or dairy free yogurt to keep it vegan), or a drizzle of tahini or maple syrup would all be incredibly tasty options. For the non vegetarians/vegans that might need to be tricked into a vegan soup, it’s also amazing with crispy Baked Bacon (the best way to prepare bacon!) crumbled over the top.
- Salad. For a light and fresh option, serve this hearty soup with a green salad. Winter Salad With Kale, Anytime Arugula Salad, Winter Slaw, and Broccoli Cranberry Salad would all pair nicely.
- Bread. I will always be a fan of sopping up yummy soups with bread. Try this Crock Pot Bread or a crusty loaf from your local bakery.
- Roasted Vegetables. Roasted vegetables are a wonderful complement this soup. Try these Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic or Roasted Zucchini.
- Sandwich. The always popular restaurant-style soup and sandwich combo! Serve a bowl of vegan soup alongside this Apple Grilled Cheese with Turkey (omit the turkey to make it vegetarian; for a vegan option, you could use your favorite dairy-free cheese alternative).
Dietary Notes & Recipe Tips
- Paleo Pumpkin Soup: No recipe changes needed! As written this soup is paleo, gluten free, and dairy free.
- Whole30 Pumpkin Soup. Omit the maple syrup. Add 2 tablespoons additional almond butter for more flavor.
- If you do not need the pumpkin soup to be vegan, you can use any kind of milk for the almond milk.
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 or food processor in batches.
- If you prefer a food processor, or are in the market for a new one, I have used and loved this one for almost ten years.
- This is my latest blender and, it was worth the splurge! (I bought a refurbished one).
Be sure to bookmark this Vegan Pumpkin Soup for your holiday table. Since it’s dairy free, gluten free, and vegan, it’s perfect if you are hosting a gathering when you need to accommodate different dietary preferences (this Curry Lentil Soup is another great option).
And, whatever diet you do (or do not) follow, bookmark this easy, healthy pumpkin soup for your own enjoyment as well. It’s been one of my absolute favorite lunches as of late, and I suspect you’ll love it too.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below. It makes my heart so happy to hear from you!
Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil - or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small or 1/2 large of head cauliflower - chopped into florets (about 3 cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion - diced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves - minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth - plus extra as needed
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Heat the oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cauliflower, onion, salt, and pepper and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant.
- Stir in broth, pumpkin, maple syrup, and almond butter. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until the cauliflower is softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the almond milk.
- With an immersion blender, puree the soup until very smooth. Alternatively, you can transfer it to a blender in batches to puree (be careful to fill your blender no more than about halfway; hot liquids will splatter). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir to heat through, then adjust consistency with additional broth as needed. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. The amount of additional salt you need will vary based on the saltiness of your particular broth and almond butter. I added about 1/4 teaspoon additional salt. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, chopped fresh parsley, and pomegranate seeds as desired. Serve hot.
- TO STORE: Store cooked vegan pumpkin soup in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
- TO REHEAT: Place soup in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat gently in the microwave until warmed through. You can also reheat this soup on the stovetop over low heat.
- TO FREEZE: Transfer cooked soup to an airtight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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