Fall is pumpkin season, and it's also the season for soup. This Southwestern Pumpkin Soup encompasses both of those in a delicious and simple soup that makes you feel all the fall vibes. After I made the Pumpkin Pecan Muffins that I shared last week, I still had some pumpkin puree, and this soup was the delicious result.
Roasted Vegetables for Soup
This southwestern pumpkin soup is a little bit spicy and it has a smoky depth of flavour because I roasted tomatoes, garlic and jalapenos to puree into the soup. Roasting vegetables not only adds a delectable smokiness, but it also intensifies their flavours.
The first time I made this soup, I didn't roast the vegetables, and although it was very good, there was something missing. Then I thought of this delicious Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup and realized the roasted part was the missing element here. This time, the roasted vegetables took the soup from "very good" to "amazing" So, although you can skip the roasting step, I recommend taking the extra time.
What Makes the Soup Southwestern?
Southwestern food is influenced by Mexican and Indigenous cuisines and is different from Tex Mex, which is usually heavy on the queso (cheese). Chiles are prominent in most Southwestern dishes, as are squash, tomatoes, lime, and the warm spice of cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cilantro.
And this southwestern soup recipe features them all deliciously. If you love the flavours of the American Southwest, then you may also want to try Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans and Corn or Bean & Lentil Veggie Burgers
You Can Have a Creamy Soup Without Dairy
This pumpkin soup is thick and creamy but doesn't contain any cream. Instead, I cooked a diced potato into the soup. The potato, along with pumpkin puree, makes for a velvety smooth, thick soup that tastes rich, but isn't.
Tips For a Velvety Textured Soup
While chunky soups are also delicious, when you are going for a smooth creamy soup there are a couple of simple tricks to it.
"Sweat" Your Onion
Sweating Onions is a technique of cooking onions in a little bit of oil over low heat for a longer time, stirring often, without the onion taking on any colour. It results in a very soft and sweet onion, which, when blended into a dish, disintegrates, lending a velvety texture. Although it takes a bit longer, (about 15 minutes) you can do this step while your vegetables are roasting.
Use An Immersion Blender
If you have an immersion blender, use it. It's the perfect tool for pureeing soups, and for so many other kitchen tasks. With an immersion blender, there is no transferring hot soup from the pot to a blender. You simply puree right in the pot.
If you don't have an immersion blender, do use a blender. Transfer the soup in batches to the blender, filling the blender carafe only half full. Be sure that the blender's lid vent is open before blending. Otherwise steam can build up and the pressure can cause a hot soup explosion. ( A messy, if not dangerous situation)
Fresh Pumpkin VS Canned Pumpkin
This recipe is using canned pumpkin puree. Although you can absolutely use fresh pumpkin, you will need to prepare and cook it in order to make this recipe. Pumpkin is highly nutritious, and the nutrition benefits are the same for both canned and fresh, cooked, pumpkin. Check it out here: Pumpkin FAQs. Just be sure to buy canned pumpkin labelled "100% pumpkin" with no additives or preservatives.
Can You Freeze Southwestern Pumpkin Soup?
This soup freezes very well because there is no milk or cream. Soups made with cream or milk don't hold up well to freezing and tend to separate and become grainy when defrosted. Not the case with this recipe. I like to freeze soup in individual portions so they are ready to defrost for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner. Freeze for up to 3 months in airtight freezer-safe containers.
Loving Soup Season?
You might also love these seasonal soup favourites:
- Jamaican Pumpkin Soup
- Moroccan Sweet Potato Soup with Chickpeas
- Buckwheat Soup with Turkey, Sweet Potato & Kale
- Vegetable Zucchini Noodle Soup
- Beet Soup Recipe – Ukrainian Borscht
Southwestern Pumpkin Soup
- olive oil
- 4 cups fresh ripe tomatoes cut in half
- kosher salt
- 2 jalapenos seeded and cut in half
- 1 head garlic top cut off
- 1 onion diced
- 1 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 tsp fresh
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp dried cumin
- ½ tsp dried coriander
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cups vegetable stock sodium-reduced
- 1 large potato peeled & diced
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lime juice of
- 1 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Coat a baking sheet with olive oil
- Place tomatoes, cut side down, jalapenos, cut side down, and garlic head, cut side up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt
- Roast vegetables in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
- In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over high heat.
- Add the diced onion to the pot and immediately turn heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon & red pepper flakes to the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes,
- Add vegetable stock, potato, and bay leaf to the pot and turn heat to medium-high. Simmer 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
- Add pumpkin puree to the pot
- Add roasted tomatoes and jalapenos to the pot along with their juices.
- Squeeze roasted garlic from the garlic head into the pot
- Bring to a boil and stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot, or transfer in batches to a blender. (Please see post for notes on this)
- Stir in lime juice. Taste and add salt as needed. Remove bay leaf.
- Serve hot, garnished with cilantro or parsley
- Pepitos (roasted pumpkin seeds)
- Roasted chickpeas Spiced Lemon Roasted Chickpeas
- Vegan yogurt, or vegan sour cream
- Lime wedges
- Jalapeno slices
- Hot sauce
- Red Pepper Flakes