As days are getting ever colder, how about a warm bowl of pumpkin soup with cauliflower to cozy up on a weekday night? At the dinner table or even on the sofa? Hardly a soup screams comfort food like a good hearty, creamy, sweet-ish pumpkin soup. For this recipe, I have spruced it up with roasted curried cauliflower florets to add some bite.
Pumpkin soup is an evergreen that took me many years to come across and make it a regular. When growing up in Germany, there was no Halloween pumpkin craze, and my mom never made anything with pumpkin. During our life in China, where people stir fry them in slices or add them to thin rice or corn soups, I learned to love the orange fruits. We ate them fried with garlic and spring onion – or, like here, as a delicious soup.
Now, being back in Germany, I noticed to my delight that I can now buy pumpkins everywhere as well. So here we go! (I am not ready to grow them myself yet, as I do not like the plants. Silly, right? So, we will see what comes of that later).
A word about the ingredients
With Halloween just passed, we may all still have a couple of pumpkins left. You can use any pumpkin you want. I like butternut squash to make soup as it is super easy to peel. Lazy me. Taste-wise, it is important that your pumpkin is ripe enough to boast this rich and slightly sweet-ish flavour that we all love so much. When testing this recipe, I noticed that my soup was a tad sweeter and more delicious the second time around. I had bought two squashes and used the second one later than the first (obviously). It had continued to ripen a bit, and we could taste that!
For the stock, use a homemade vegetable stock if you have it at hand. It is simply the healthiest, but also adds even more delicious flavour to your soup. If you don’t have any, store-bought stock will do as well of course. As would chicken stock – which would change the taste and increase fat content (and of course removes the vegan label from the recipe). I do not find chicken stock ideal for vegetable soups, but it sure is possible to use. If you prefer go for pure pumpkin flavour by using water instead of stock, that’s fine too! In that case, add a bit more seasoning, and/or a teaspoon of tomato puree.
Use full fat coconut milk for the finish. The amount is up to you – depending on how much creaminess you’d like for your soup. I stuck with half a cup, which to me yields the perfect colour, flavour and texture. But that’s flexible, and the amount is easy to increase at the very end after your final tasting. You can replace the coconut milk with heavy cream for added protein. Use the same amount and stir it in the same way towards the end of cooking your soup.
How to cook your pumpkin soup and roast your cauliflower
Cooking this soup is really simple and straightforward. You need one stove and your oven, that’s it. Cooking soup and roasting cauliflower is done in parallel. All you need to do during that time is chopping garnish if you’d like some green topping for your soup. Easy!
There is just one thing to keep in mind: It is important that the soup itself is ready before the cauliflower florets are done roasting. They are at their best right out of the oven. The pureed soup, meanwhile, can sit on the stove waiting for a little while. Just make sure heat is very low and stir regularly to prevent the soup sticking to the bottom of the pot.
You basically prepare everything by chopping the pumpkin flesh, onion, garlic and ginger for the soup. Start by frying onion, garlic and ginger, then add the curry powder and the pumpkin pieces. Then follow your stock, salt and pepper. You can wait with chopping the cauliflower until the soup mix is simmering away in your pot.
When putting cauli florets into your tray, make sure that the oil and spices are thoroughly mixed in order to spread the flavour around. Use two spoons or your clean hands to massage oil and spices into your florets. They will look beautiful covered in the yellow and red curry-paprika spice mixture.
Pack to the soup! Taste it after mixing in the coconut milk, and add more salt, pepper or spice if you like. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add a little warm water and keep the pot hot too. It does not necessarily have to boil again.
If you use parsley as a topping, rinse and chop the leaves while waiting for the cauliflower to get ready. You will want the leaves to be fresh and crisp when serving.
This soup is entirely satisfying as it is. But of course feel free to serve it with a slice of keto crispbread or other crunchy low carb crackers. And then, sit back and enjoy your warm bowl of smooth delicious pumpkin soup! Bon appetit!
Delicious creamy pumpkin soup with roasted, spiced cauliflower florets! Make it as a cozy and healthy dinner for November weeknights.
For 4 bowls
1 butternut squash of around 1kg, yielding 800 grams when peeled and de-seeded (take the same amount if you use another type of pumpkin or squash)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch/3 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
black or cayenne pepper to taste
pinch of smoked paprika powder for garnish
1 handful of parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
3 cups cauliflower florets (around 250g/0.5 lbs)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
- Chop squash or pumpkin into cubes with about 1/2 inch or 1-2 cm sidelength.
- Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees Celsius/425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put a large pot to medium heat and add coconut oil. When the oil is hot, insert onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry for around 2 minutes or until onions become translucent. Mix in the curry powder and keep stirring for another minute.
- Throw in the pumpkin cubes and thoroughly mix everything. Then increase heat and add your broth and the salt. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat again and keep your soup simmering for around 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the pumpkin is boiling, put cauliflower florets into a bowl, and mix them with olive oil, salt and spices. Spread them out on a baking sheet or put them into a baking tray. Put them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until florets are browning.
- Back to the soup: After 25 minutes, put temperature down to very low heat and puree soup inside the pot with a hand blender. You may want to leave some chunks or puree until very smooth. Stir in coconut milk and keep the soup keep warm on the stove until the cauliflower is ready. Chop parsley leaves if using.
- Once cauli is ready, pull the tray out of the oven. Pour soup into 4 medium size bowls and share cauliflower among them. Sprinkle with paprika powder or cayenne pepper and chopped parsley leaves, if using. Serve immediately. Yum!
You can use other kinds of pumpkin or squash as well. Preparation will be the exact same.
You can use cream instead of coconut milk for added protein. Of course, that way the recipe is no longer vegan.
- Category: soup
- Method: boil and simmer
- Cuisine: international