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Pumpkin Soup Without the Fuss

posted in Soups, Salads, Sides and Sauces, Vegetarian by Kathy Maister
difficulty rating

The reason I call this recipe “Pumpkin Soup without the Fuss” is because it’s made from canned pumpkin which has been already cooked and mashed. Canned pumpkin tastes great and it is a huge time saver!

For this recipe you will need:

In addition to the canned pumpkin, the only other ingredient you may not be familiar with is evaporated milk. (I have used it in my “Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese” recipe.) Evaporated milk is just slightly thicker than regular milk but it is very rich. It will make this soup really creamy and very rich tasting. A low fat version is available. (Be sure not to confuse evaporated milk with sweetened condensed milk. They are often sold side-by-side.)

You need to chop one medium onion. If you don’t know how to chop an onion, there is a demonstration of it here: How to Mince, Dice and Chop Onions.

Get all of remaining ingredients measured and ready to go. That really only involves measuring the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. If you are using chicken stock made from a bullion cube you will need to reconstitute the cube in boiling water.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium pot.

Add the onions and cook them until they are soft, about 7-10 minutes. Give them an occasional stir.

Now add the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and applesauce and cook everything for about 4 minutes.

After 4 minutes it will look like the picture below.

Add the pumpkin and chicken stock, and stir everything together. It will be pretty thick.

Bring the pot to a boil. Turn the temperature down to simmer and cover the pot.

Set the timer for about 20 minutes. Be sure to give the soup an occasional stir.

Pour in enough evaporated milk until the soup reaches your desired thickness. I like about 8 ounces of evaporated but you may want your soup thinner or thicker.

Be sure to add a few grinds of fresh black pepper.

The really great thing about this soup is that aside from the onion, all the other ingredients needed to make this soup come straight from your food cupboard. Next time you go grocery shopping be sure to add the ingredients for this soup to your list. On a cold evening a delicious pot of pumpkin soup can be ready for dinner in no time!

I have added a special touch to my soup by topping it with some cinnamon croutons!


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Kathy Maister said:

Nika, your work, be it recipes, book reviews, or your fabulous photos, is a joy to behold!

April said:

Sounds great! Can’t wait to try it.

Question. In the picture you have cinnamon applesauce. Is that what you use for this? Or do you use regular applesauce?


Kathy Maister said:

Hi April! Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices and “cinnamon applesauce” is all I had in the cupboard when I made this soup. It gave the recipe an extra kick – but either plain or cinnamon applesauce will work just fine with this recipe!

Anna said:

Hi, My kids and I love watching your videos! We love learning from them on how to cook with mom:).

I was wondering what would go best with this soup and keep a family of 7 full and satisfied.

Thanks, enjoy your site!

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Anna! I would give the (Spinach )Lasagna or the Lasagna with Meat Sauce a try. Top it off with an Apple Crisp and you’ve got yourself a hearty winter meal! (Plus there is nothing better than the smell of apples baking in the oven-the kids will love it!) Cheers! Kathy

P.S. Bow Ties with Beef and Beans is a great one-pot family meal you might also like to try!

Kathy Maister said:

OOPS! Anna, and of course don’t forget a salad/steamed veggies as well!

Gail said:

Thank you for such a delicious recipe! The flavor was wonderful and it was so easy to make. I will be using this recipe again for a baby shower and I’m sure it will get rave reviews.

Kathy Maister said:

Hi Gail, It sounds like a great way to begin a party!
The applesauce in this recipe really gives it a lovely flavor.
For new cooks, it is really important to do a test run on all the recipes your will be using for entertaining. Nothing worse than something not turning out quite right in front of company!

Val said:

Hi –

My family aren’t big onion eaters – can you suggest something else to enhance flavor??

Can’t wait to try! Thank you.

startcooking said:

Hi Val,
You could try using leeks instead of onions. They do have an oniony flavor but they are not as intense as a regular onion.
In this recipe the pumpkin, applesauce and the cinnamon are the dominant flavors.
Good Luck,

Jeff said:

White onions are milder than Spanish browns. If that is still too strong, there are the “sweet” onions such as the Vidalia. Even the strongest onions become very mild when boiled in a soup. Oh, and a little trick with onions: refrigerate them first, get them good and cold, and avoid the tears when you chop them.

I can think of some variations on this recipe. As it is, it is nearly pumpkin pie without the crust– blend an egg into the pumpkin puree before adding it to the pot, and you will have it. Of course, that will make things thicker, so more chicken stock would be required.

Also, try a pumpkin pie spice blend in place of cinnamon. These are usually cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Trader Joe’s puts an excellent blend out every autumn that also includes lemon peel and cardamon. Allspice, which is another “sweet” spice, but is not usually included in these blends, goes well in sweet pumpkin recipes.

I was looking for a low-fuss recipe with more of a “bite” to it; this could be a basis. Mild curry powder (instead of the sweet spices; Green Label Ship brand Madras curry powder my favorite), perhaps peanut butter in place of (or in addition to) the apple sauce (spicy Thai peanut sauce pumpkin soup?)… There are many curry pumpkin soup recipes, but most require a fresh pumpkin.

Alicia Scott said:

Hi, Love your site. What is the equivalent fresh pumpkin measurement to the 16oz can of pumpkin? A lb of fresh pumpkin boiled and pureéd?

startcooking said:

Hi Alicia,
According to this link, “a 5-pound pumpkin will yield about 4 1/2 cups of mashed, cooked pumpkin. One can of pumpkin, 15 to 16 ounces, yields about 2 cups of mashed pumpkin”.

I hope this helps!

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