There is nothing better to take the chill out of a day than a steamy hot bowl of Pumpkin Curry Soup. When pumpkin season is in full swing this thick creamy soup full of pumpkin and curry flavor is perfect to make a complete meal. And we've kept the calories slim!
It's a lower calorie weight loss friendly food in addition to boosting your immune system via Vitamin A, skin health, a great source of fiber which helps keep you full and your digestive system running well. It also tastes great especially when paired with earthy, spicy flavor like curry.
This pumpkin curry soup recipe is easy and fast to make. There is very limited prep work other than chopping some ingredients to sauté giving the pumpkin soup recipe a delicious base of flavor.
It's a creamy soup thanks to the pumpkin and not loads of cream. The addition of coconut milk (from a carton) finishes the soup by meshing with the flavors and texture not adding loads of calories as with canned coconut milk. If you follow WW (formerly Weight Watchers) you'll love the low points on this recipe!
If you love creamy soups and thicker soups this that combination. With just a handful of ingredients this tasty soup is a great first course or even a main course for lunch during the chilly time of year.
What makes this skinny?
Usually pumpkin curry soup is made with canned coconut milk (or heavy cream). While that does add a stronger coconut flavor it loads on the calories too.
For instance canned full-fat coconut milk (unsweetened) weighs in at 120 calories for ⅓ cup (Thai Kitchen brand). For the light version it's still 50 calories for ⅓ cup.
The unsweetened coconut milk in the carton has more water added so the flavor is not as strong and it has only 60 calories for 1 cup. It adds a great creamy consistency and blends well with the other flavors. For the calorie savings we'll take it!
We experimented with just using garlic powder, ground ginger and onion powder instead of having a sauté step. We just did not love the flavor. There's nothing like sautéed onion, garlic and fresh ginger to add a full flavor. Only 2 teaspoons of oil was used which still keeps it skinny (and more delicious).
Recipe Ingredient Notes
The simple ingredients in this soup are easy to find at the grocery store. Stock up on some canned pumpkin in the fall to make this anytime you are in the mood!
Garlic. Use fresh garlic, 3 garlic cloves, peeled and diced. Fresh garlic has the flavor perfect for this soup. Paste garlic and pre-diced garlic in jars have a more muted flavor and in the case of the latter are often stored in oil.
Ginger. As with garlic, use fresh gingerroot, peeled and diced. You'll use a 1-inch long segment.
Curry powder. Curry is a regional dish and there are hundreds of variations. To keep it simple we are using the curry powder sold in the spice aisle of the grocery store. Just regular curry powder.
Low sodium Chicken Broth. In our testing we felt this gave the best flavor to the soup. See Variations for another option to keep it vegetarian or vegan.
Pumpkin puree. Use 100% pumpkin from a can or homemade pumpkin puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling.
Brown sugar. This might seem an odd ingredient but just a touch of added sugar deepens the flavor of the soup without making it sweet or adding loads of calories.
Coconut milk. Though any coconut milk can be used we are using the type from a carton which has a much lighter flavor and far fewer calories (see What Makes this Skinny for details). You can substitute a can of coconut milk (light coconut milk or full fat coconut milk) too if calories aren't a concern.
How to make Pumpkin Curry Soup
STEP 1. Sauté
In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the yellow onion and sauté until softened and translucent (4-5 minutes).
Add the garlic and ginger. Sauté 60 seconds. Stir in the curry powder.
STEP 2. Simmer
Add the chicken stock, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, salt, black pepper and cumin (photos 1-4). Whisk to combine (photo 5).
Bring to a low boil and reduce the heat to simmering. Simmer for 25 minutes stirring periodically.
Stir in the coconut milk (photos 6-7) and allow to warm through. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup (or process batches in a regular blender) to a fully smooth consistency if desired (photo 8).
Adjust the seasonings as needed (salt) and serve. The soup can be garnished with pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds), a dollop of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and/or a drizzle of additional coconut milk if desired.
Use vegetable stock or broth. If you'd like to keep this vegan or vegetarian use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. It will change the flavor profile so other seasonings may need to be adjusted to your preference.
Want is spicier? Add some red pepper flakes when serving. That way you know how spicy the soup is and diners can add red pepper flakes to suit individual taste.
How to make vegan pumpkin soup. To accommodate a vegan diet use vegetable broth and choose a vegan approved brown sugar or use coconut sugar or even maple syrup instead.
Make it with butternut squash. For a different flavor with similar comfort food flavors make it with butternut squash. You can use frozen squash cubes or fresh squash. Simmer until the squash is cooked and use an immersion blender to puree. This is a great option when canned pumpkin isn't available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Homemade pumpkin puree has more water content so it tends to be looser but for a soup that wouldn't matter. Small sugar pumpkins are the best type of pumpkin for making pumpkin puree (versus larger regular pumpkins). Substitute 3 ½ cups of pumpkin puree for the canned pumpkin.
Yes! Because it is not a cream-based soup it freezes well. Allow it to cool to room temperature and store in freezer-safe airtight containers or even a freezer bag for up to 2-3 months.
I love using this freezer block maker to freeze the soup in bags. It's a mold that forms in the bag and after it's frozen you have easily stackable bags of soup!Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat before serving.
How to store
Allow the soup to cool slightly. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave on 50% power until warmed through.
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