This vegan roasted pumpkin soup is so creamy, flavorful and easy to make! This nutritious fall soup is suitable for most diets: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and even nut-free if needed!
Thank you Williams-Sonoma Canada for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Why Roast Pumpkin for Soup?
Roasting your veggies before adding them to soup or bisque creates much more flavor! When roasted at a high heat, caramelization occurs. This creates sweet, rich umami flavors and intensifying the delicate pumpkin flavor. A reader favorite is this Roasted Garlic Vegetable Stew with Red Lentils which is so satisfying and hearty!
Cutting the pumpkin into 1″ (2.5 cm) strips allows for more caramelization (i.e. flavor!) and faster roasting, more so than roasting it as two halves.
Not only does roasting create a tastier pumpkin soup, it also frees up your time so your not standing over the stove for long periods! Pop the pumpkin onto a baking sheet and let the oven start this easy pumpkin soup recipe for you!
How to Make Vegan Roasted Pumpkin Soup
This vegan pumpkin soup recipe has very little busy time. Once the pumpkin is roasted, the soup comes together in no time. Here are the few easy steps to get this warming dairy-free creamy soup on the table!
- Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds, and then cut each half into 1″(2.5 cm) strips. Brush with oil on a baking tray. Wrap the garlic in foil and roast the whole lot!
- Sauté onions, apple and spices, deglaze with beer, cider or broth.
- Remove the peel from the pumpkin, pop the garlic cloves out of the skins, and blend together with broth, vegan cream, and sautéed ingredients.
- Pour everything back into the pot, bring to a boil then simmer to bring marry the flavors.
- Serve and enjoy!
Feature Ingredients & Substitutions
The best type of pumpkin to use in this autumn soup is sugar pumpkin or any type of winter squash (except spaghetti squash!) Technically speaking, pumpkin is a squash!
Sugar pumpkins, butternut squash and Japanese pumpkins (a.k.a. Kabocha squash) are best for flavor, richness, and providing body to the soup. The color and thickness of your squash soup is going to depend on the type of squash that you use.
The pumpkins used for carving jack-o-lanterns can be used here but they tend to have less flavor, more water content, and their flesh is more grainy. As a result the soup is less likely to be as flavorful and satiny as a soup made with a richer, and smoother squash like butternut. Simply simmer the pumpkin soup a little longer to reduce it and intensify the flavors. Also, be sure to blend until completely smooth – a stand-up blender will be better at this than an immersion blender. I would not recommend really mild, watery summer squash like zucchini or spaghetti squash for this recipe if your goal is a rich soup.
Depending on the size and thickness of their flesh, some types of squash or pumpkin will naturally take longer to roast. Once the flesh is easily pierced with a fork and you have some caramelization happening, it’s ready to be removed from the oven!
If you’ve never cooked with a whole pumpkin or squash before, you may be wondering if you have to peel it before eating it. The answer is yes, the peel on most squash and pumpkins is much too hard and fibrous to chew. Give the pumpkin a few minutes to cool down before easily trimming the peel off the flesh.
There’s an entire head of garlic in this soup. Now, before I lose you – trust me it’s not overpowering at all! Why? Because the garlic is roasted first. Roasted garlic has a much more mellow, sweet flavor compared with the strong, pungent flavors of raw garlic. In fact, it’s so mild and delicious, you’ll have to restrain yourself from eating it all before adding it to the soup! Roasted garlic provides additional umami, sweetness, and fills out the lovely flavors of this fancy tasting soup! Roast the garlic at the same time as the pumpkin for simplicity and easy clean up!
I really enjoy vegan chicken or vegetable broth in this recipe. It’s mild enough not to overpower the pumpkin, unlike vegan beef broth which has stronger flavors.
Beer, with its naturally slight bitter undertones, cut and compliment the sweetness in this roasted pumpkin soup. Select one that does not overpower the delicate favors of the pumpkin, and one you enjoy the flavor of on its own. Wheat beer, pale lager, or cider for more apple tones are all great choices. If you’d prefer to not to include any alcohol in this autumnal soup, you can simply use broth or even apple juice!
There’s one apple in this soup and it really enhances the fall harvest flavors in this pumpkin soup! Choose a tart, crisp apple for acidity and fresh flavor. Royal Gala is my go-to but use whichever one you love most! If you don’t have any fresh apples, you can substitute one with 1/2 cup (125 mL) of applesauce, adding it to the blender with the roasted pumpkin.
The spices in this soup are warming but minimal so that the roasted pumpkin really shines. A little bit of cinnamon, ground cayenne pepper, and fresh ginger is all it really needs. I’ve tested this recipe with nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and while everyone enjoyed it, I found its floral flavors were slightly overpowering even in such a small amount. If you LOVE nutmeg though, go ahead and add a little! Serve with salt and pepper to taste, and that’s about it!
Vegan Cream or Milk:
Cashews have a magical ability to mimic the creaminess and buttery flavor of dairy-based cream. If you have a high-powered blender, there’s no need to soak your cashews. You can add them to the blender along with your roasted pumpkin. Otherwise, if you have a standard blender, soak the cashews ahead of time (see notes in the recipe card for how to do this.) Blend the soaked, drained cashews with 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the broth before adding the cashew cream to the soup to ensure it is perfectly smooth.
If you don’t have cashews or prefer to make a nut-free soup, you can use canned coconut milk or cream.
Vegan milk such as unsweetened soy or oat milk are nice options instead of cashew cream, although the soup naturally won’t be as creamy. I’d avoid thinner, watery dairy-free milk like rice or almond milks. If that’s all you have, you could add a couple of tablespoons (28 g) of vegan butter for extra richness.
How Much Pumpkin to Use? Pumpkin Conversion 101!
This roasted pumpkin soup calls for a whole, unseeded medium-sized sugar pumpkin or winter squash, which is about 3-4 lbs (1.36-1.82 kg). If you’ve ever been to a pumpkin patch or have your own garden, you’ll have seen the huge variations in weight and size of pumpkins and other squash. If you haven’t seen this first hand, check out this site for how much different pumpkins weigh. You might be surprised at how enormous some pumpkins can become!
If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you may be wondering how many cups of pumpkin you should be using in this pumpkin soup recipe. Determining this is difficult because you’d have to chop your pumpkin pretty small with the skin on to measure it accurately. Large chunks fill a cup faster leaving empty spaces throughout. This will reduce the roasting time by a lot, and will also make removing the peel a little tedious but totally doable!
The good thing is, if you have a pumpkin or squash which is roughly 3-4 lbs (1.36-1.82 kg), you’ll be fine – this recipe is pretty forgiving! If your sugar pumpkin is even bigger and you use a bit too much, you can simply thin the soup with more broth. If you didn’t use quite enough pumpkin, simply simmer the soup a little longer with the lid off so the soup reduces and thickens, as desired.
Are you interested in how to convert your whole, raw pumpkin to cups mashed/puréed? See below!
- You’ll get roughly 1 cup of cooked, mashed sugar pumpkin per pound (~4 cups chopped) of raw whole sugar pumpkin.
- For carving pumpkins (which aren’t as dense and so have more moisture to lose during roasting), you’ll get roughly 2/3 cup of cooked mashed carving pumpkin per pound (roughly 7 cups) of raw whole carving pumpkin.
- Keep in mind, too, that pumpkins and squash lose moisture as they age, so an older one is going to be lighter than a fresher one. This is one of those types of recipes that each batch may vary a tiny bit as no two pumpkins are the exact same in terms of weight or moisture content!
Check out this article on substitutes and for help with conversion to cups if you don’t own a kitchen scale so aren’t sure how heavy your pumpkin or squash is.
If you’d like to substitute fresh roasted squash for canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix!), you could use roughly 2 x 15 oz (2 x 398 mL) cans of pumpkin purée. If you’re using homemade pumpkin purée, you may need to use a little more to get the flavor and consistency you desire. Homemade purée often has more water content than store-bought so it may not be as concentrated tasting as canned.
Serving Roasted Pumpkin Soup
This creamy pumpkin soup is the perfect vegan starter to Thanksgiving or autumnal dinner! Served in this beautiful festive pumpkin terrine and matching bowls from Williams-Sonoma Canada, you’re sure to woo your guests before they even take their first spoonful! These dishes are as elegant as they are cute.
While this dairy-free pumpkin soup is the perfect addition to a vegan-friendly holiday table, it certainly shouldn’t be reserved only for special occasions! It’s perfect for a cozy lunch along side a thick slice of soft bread, or a flaky biscuit! Enjoy for a healthy vegan dinner topped with toasted pepitas, crispy chickpeas, or a dollop of plain vegan yogurt, sour cream or a drizzle of coconut cream!
Make Ahead and Storage Suggestions
This creamy vegan pumpkin soup can be made ahead, in fact it tastes even better the next day! If you are lucky enough to have a lot of squash in your garden (or if you got a little over zealous at the pumpkin patch), this soup doubles really well. Your mid-winter self will thank you for such a delicious and nutritious meal prep!
This pumpkin soup keeps in an airtight container for 5 days in the refrigerator. It can be frozen in an airtight container for 3-6 months. It may thicken slightly upon thawing and reheating – add a bit of broth or water to thin it to the consistency you prefer.
More Comforting Vegan Soups and Stews:
- Creamy Curried Carrot, Ginger & Red Lentil Soup
- Mushroom Miso Ramen
- Roasted Garlic Vegetable Stew with Red Lentils
- Creamy Mushroom Wild Rice Soup
If you make this vegan Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided plus 1 teaspoon (5mL)
- 3-4 lb sugar pumpkin or dense winter squash, whole & unpeeled (see blog post for substitutions and pumpkin conversions)
- 1 whole bulb garlic
- 1 brown onion, peeled and diced
- 1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 firm, tart apple, cored and diced (see notes for substitution)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- ½ cup raw cashews* (see notes for nut-free substitutions or if you don't have a high-powered blender)
- 1 cup wheat beer (may substitute with gluten-free pale beer, apple cider, apple juice or broth)
- 3 cups vegan chicken or vegetable broth
- salt & pepper, to taste
Garnishes, If Desired
- toasted crispy pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or chickpeas
- unsweetened dairy-free yogurt/sour cream, or canned coconut milk/cream
Roast the Pumpkin and Garlic
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/gas mark 7. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Carefully cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Slice each pumpkin half into 1"(2.5 cm) thick strips. Arrange the strips on the baking sheet. Brush all sides of the flesh with 2 tablespoons of oil. Set aside.
- Keeping the garlic bulb intact, slice the tops off of the garlic cloves with a large knife. Drizzle the cloves with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of oil. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil and set on the baking tray with the pumpkin. Roast in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping the pumpkin after 20 minutes. The pumpkin is cooked once the flesh is easily pierced with a fork and some caramelization is visible. The garlic is cooked once the cloves are soft and golden. If your garlic bulb is really big, you may need to roast it longer.
- Open the foil packet around the garlic bulb. Allow the pumpkin and garlic to cool until you can safely handle it, about 10 minutes. Remove the peel from the pumpkin strips with a small knife, discarding the skin (this is not edible for most pumpkins). Use the tip of the knife or your fingers to remove the soft garlic cloves.
Make the Pumpkin Soup
- In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons (30 mL) oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions, apples, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and ginger, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the apple softened. Deglaze with the beer (or substitute per ingredient list.)
- If you have a high-powered blender, add the cashews to the pot (if you don't have a high-powered blender, see Notes below.) Reduce the heat and simmer until the moisture is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. In the meantime, peel the skin off the pumpkin wedges and discard the skins. Remove the skin from the roasted garlic cloves.
- Add the pumpkin flesh, roasted garlic, and the onion-cashew mixture from the pot to a blender with 2 cups (500 mL) of broth. If you have a small blender, you'll need to do this in batches. It's not safe to overfill a blender with hot liquids as the steam creates pressure and can pop the lid off, spraying scalding liquid on you.
- Add the pumpkin soup and remaining 1 cup (250 mL) of broth back to the pot over medium heat – bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes to bring the flavors together. Stir occasionally. If using canned coconut milk or non-dairy milk instead of cashew cream, add it in at this time. If you'd like to thin the soup, add a bit more broth. If you'd like to thicken the soup, allow it to simmer until thickened as desired. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If serving at the table, transfer the soup to a terrine. Otherwise, ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish with toasted pepitas, crispy chickpeas, or a dollop of unsweetened vegan yogurt/sour cream or a drizzle of canned coconut milk, as desired.
- Store cooled soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. May be frozen in an airtight container for 3-6 months.
The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.
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