Y’all, I’m reaching waaaaay down into the Budget Bytes archives with this one. I first posted this Easy Pumpkin Soup in 2009, just a few months into my blogging journey. When October 1st hit this year, I knew I wanted to redo this recipe because it’s so symbolic. This super simple soup is a great example of where I was in my cooking journey ten years ago. Food was all about being easy, simple, and comforting to me at that time, and I know a lot of people can relate to that today as well.
I’m not going to tell you that this is the most mind blowing soup in the world because it isn’t. It’s basic, but sometimes that’s what you need. It’s a great starter soup for those who are just learning to cook or just like to keep things simple. If you want something more fancy or with more complexity, I have some suggestions for customizing this soup below, plus links to over fun pumpkin soups I’ve made over the years!
It’s All About the Broth
The broth provides most of the flavor in this soup, so make sure you’re using a full-bodied broth with a lot of flavor. I use Better Than Bouillon soup base to make my broth, but if you happen to have homemade chicken broth or bone broth, those would also be amazing. If you want to make this soup vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable broth or stock.
What to Serve with Easy Pumpkin Soup
I love this pumpkin soup as a tomato alternative to the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. Because the soup is so light, it also makes a great starter for a larger, heavier, or multi-course meal. I also found myself reheating a mugful of this pumpkin soup as a light between meals snack.
Pumkin Purée vs. Pumpkin Pie Filling
Make sure that you buy pumpkin purée for this recipe, not pumpkin pie filling. They both come in a can, have very similar labels, and will be on the shelf right next to each other, but are two very, very different things. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and seasoned with pumpkin pie spice. Not something you want in this soup. ;)
How to Make a Thick Pumpkin Soup
This is not a thick soup. It’s a soupy soup. If you’re looking for a thick texture, like potato soup or a bisque, use two cans of pumpkin purée and double the spices and salt.
Add-Ins and Flavor Options
There are a lot of fun things you can do with this “base” soup, when you are feeling comfortable and want to branch out. You can make it a creamy soup by replacing some of the chicken broth with heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk. Change the flavor profile by adding curry powder, Cajun seasoning, or even Thai curry paste.
You can have a lot of fun with add-ins and toppings, too. I kept it simple with pumpkin seeds and sour cream, but you could do sriracha, Tabasco, add spinach, crispy chickpeas, shaved parmesan, croutons, or crumbled bacon.
Easy Pumpkin Soup
- 4 Tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds) ($0.60)
- 4 Tbsp sour cream ($0.11)
- Dice the onion then add it to a medium sauce pot with the butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).
- Add the pumpkin purée, chicken broth, smoked paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine the ingredients, then allow the soup to come up to a simmer.
- Simmer the soup for 10 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed (I added 1/4 tsp).
- Serve the soup topped with pepitas and a swirl of sour cream.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!
How to Make Pumpkin Soup – Step by Step Photos
Dice one small yellow onion and add it to a medium sauce pot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the onion over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (about 3 minutes).
Make sure to read the label on your can of pumpkin purée very carefully. Pumpkin purée is not the same thing as pumpkin pie filling, and they usually have very similar looking labels. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and has pumpkin pie spice, neither of which will be good in this soup! Ha!
Add one 15oz. can of pumpkin purée and 3 cups of chicken broth to the soup pot.
Also add 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine.
Allow the soup to come up to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, taste the soup and add salt as needed. I added 1/4 tsp. Remember, a little salt can really make flavors pop!
Serve the Easy Pumpkin Soup with a few pepitas (pumpkin seeds) sprinkled over top and a swirl of sour cream!