This Healthy Pumpkin Soup Without Cream is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s a quick and easy fall comfort food classic that is made using roasted pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, and warm cozy spices. A little sweet, a little savory, and a touch spicy, this smooth and creamy soup pairs beautifully with a loaf of crusty bread for a comforting weeknight dinner.
Rich, creamy, and classic – it doesn’t get much more fall comfort food than a big bowl of velvety pumpkin soup. And while many traditional pumpkin soup recipes use heavy cream, I liked the idea of creating a lighter, healthier pumpkin soup without cream for this recipe.
This simple pumpkin soup relies on the natural creaminess of the roasted pumpkin puree. Homemade pumpkin puree is blended with onion, garlic, vegetable broth, spices, maple syrup, and brown sugar for a soup that is both savory, sweet, and just as creamy as its classic counterpart.
Curling up with a cozy, comforting bowl of this oh-so satisfying soup season favorite is sure to warm your soul. Try it as a nourishing and flavorful Thanksgiving side dish or appetizer.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Roasted Pumpkin Puree- Canned pumpkin puree is great and all, but homemade roasted pumpkin puree? Even better. The sweet, caramelized flavor you achieve from roasting the pumpkin before pureeing it takes this pumpkin soup to the next level.
- Healthy- This easy pumpkin soup recipe is made without cream so it’s lower in fat than a traditional pumpkin soup recipe. Plus, it’s naturally dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
- Fall Comfort Food- Does it get more cozy fall vibes than a warm bowl of homemade roast pumpkin soup? You’ll love digging into this creamy, comforting soup on a chilly fall evening.
- Meal Prep & Freezer-Friendly- Prepare the pumpkin puree up to 1 week before you want to make the pumpkin soup. Then, you can throw the soup together for a quick and easy weeknight dinner in just about 20 minutes. This soup also freezes beautifully, which makes it a perfect freezer meal.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Sugar Pumpkins- Smaller than your regular carving pumpkin, sugar pumpkins are a sweet variety of fresh pumpkin that is perfect for roasting and turning into pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, and all other kinds of pumpkin treats. They usually start popping up at grocery stores and farmers’ markets sometime in August.
- Aromatics- Finely chopped onions and minced garlic bring a savory layer to this pumpkin soup that plays nicely with the sweetness of the pumpkin.
- Warm Spices- I love pumpkin soup that combines sweet, savory, and spicy elements for a well-balanced flavor. For this pumpkin soup without cream, I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper to give it a little kick.
- Vegetable Broth- A combination of vegetable broth and water makes up the liquid base of this dairy-free pumpkin soup.
- Sweeteners- I like to use a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup to give this soup a touch of sweetness.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this roasted pumpkin soup without cream.
Step 1: Roast the pumpkins. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the top off of the pumpkins, then cut them in half. Remove the seeds and stringy pieces before brushing the pumpkin flesh with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast, flesh side down, for 35-40 minutes or until the flesh can easily be pierced with a knife.
Roasting the pumpkin before pureeing gives it a sweeter, more caramelized flavor.
Step 2: Puree the roasted pumpkin. Allow the pumpkin to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the skin (it should peel off easily). Place the roasted pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor or blender or use an immersion blender to puree the cooked pumpkin. Set aside.
The pumpkin puree can be made up to 1 week in advance.
Step 3: Sauté the aromatics and spices. In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the kosher salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Cooking the spices in oil releases their flavor and infuses it into the soup.
Step 4: Blend the soup together and simmer. Reduce the heat to low and pour the vegetable broth and water into the pot, scraping the bottom to remove any fond build-up. Bring to a simmer, then add the roasted pumpkin puree. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth, creamy consistency. Alternatively, you can (carefully) ladle the soup into a blender in batches to blend. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh thyme leaves, or a drizzle of coconut milk.
Tip: Use a splatter screen while simmering to prevent pumpkin soup from splashing out of the pot.
Tips and Tricks
- Make the Pumpkin Puree Ahead- Homemade pumpkin puree will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. So, try making the pumpkin puree over the weekend. Then, you’ll have it ready to go for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
- Don’t Use Carving Pumpkins- While edible, large carving pumpkins don’t have much flavor. Look for sugar pumpkins at your grocery store or farmers’ market.
- Simmer for Desired Consistency- Getting pumpkin soup to the right consistency isn’t always an exact science. Depending on the pumpkin, your homemade pumpkin puree could be a little watery or a little dry. If you find your pumpkin soup is on the thinner side, don’t fret. Just keep simmering until it reaches your desired thickness.
- Use the Pumpkin Seeds as a Topping- Don’t throw out those pumpkin seeds! They make the perfect crunchy pumpkin soup topping. I love this guide on how to roast pumpkin seeds.
- Serve it in a Roasted Pumpkin Bowl- To make roasted pumpkin bowls, simply remove the tops of a few small sugar pumpkins as if you were going to carve them. Then, scoop out the stringy fibers and seeds, brush the inside of the pumpkins (and their tops) with a little olive oil, and roast at 400°F for 25-30 minutes or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are a few ways you can customize this healthy and delicious pumpkin soup without cream to fit your diet and taste preferences.
- Roasted Pumpkin Puree- Of course, you can use canned pumpkin puree to make this soup. Alternatively, use another variety of winter squash, such as butternut squash or acorn squash, to make this healthy fall soup recipe.
- Vegetable Broth- If you’re not following a vegetarian diet, chicken broth is a great substitute for vegetable broth. If you’re completely out of broth, plain water works as well – you may just need to bump the salt and seasonings up a bit.
- Olive Oil- Any neutral-flavored oil or butter can be swapped for olive oil.
- Onion- I typically use yellow onion, but actually had to use red onion to make the version in the photographs because my yellow onion was rotten on the inside (yuck). Any variety of onions or even leeks can work in this recipe. Or use 1 tablespoon of onion powder.
- Garlic- Swap the fresh garlic for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder or use garlic-infused olive oil.
- Warm Spices- Use a little bit of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Cayenne Pepper- Leave it out entirely if you don’t like spicy food. Otherwise, you can use red pepper flakes in place of the cayenne pepper powder.
- Sweeteners- Feel free to use any sweetener you prefer. Since sweetness levels vary between sweeteners, taste after each tablespoon and adjust.
- Extra Spicy- I add a small amount of cayenne pepper in this recipe to give it just a hint of spiciness. If you love spicy foods, bump the cayenne pepper up to ¼ or ½ teaspoon.
- Extra Creamy- Add a ½ cup of full-fat coconut milk in place of the water for an extra rich and creamy pumpkin soup without cream.
- Thanksgiving Herbs- Don’t love sweet pumpkin soup? No problem. Skip the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweeteners, and use a little sage, thyme, and rosemary instead.
- Curry- Another fun flavor option that pairs well with pumpkin soup is curry. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder and ½ teaspoon of ground ginger.
What to Serve with Pumpkin Soup
Versatile and delicious, homemade pumpkin soup can be served as both a main dish and a side dish. Another fun part of serving pumpkin soup is all the wonderful toppings you can add. Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve this pumpkin soup.
- Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken
- Slow-Braised Turkey Breast
- Vegetarian Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Chicken and Broccoli Lasagna
- Dutch Oven Chicken Pot Pie
- Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese
- Honey Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
- Braised Beef
- Honey-Chipotle Brussels Sprouts or Other Roasted Vegetables
- Butternut Squash Fries
- Cheesy Broccoli Bites
- Brown Butter Cornbread
- Classic Sage Stuffing
- Sourdough Bread
- Garlic Bread or Breadsticks
- Kale Salad or Spinach Salad
- Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Toasted Pecans or Walnuts
- Roasted Chickpeas
- Coconut Cream or Heavy Cream
- Sour Cream or Geek Yogurt
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Thyme or Other Herbs
- Goat Cheese or Gorgonzola Cheese
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Refrigerator- Store leftover pumpkin soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Freezer- For longer storage, place the pumpkin soup in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 6 months.
How to Reheat
If you want to reheat frozen pumpkin soup, I recommend allowing it to thaw in the refrigerator, at least partially, before reheating. Additionally, if the soup seems a little thick, add a splash of broth or water to help loosen it.
- Stovetop- This is the best method by far because it can easily be scaled for reheating large batches of pumpkin soup. Just place the soup in an appropriate-sized pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until steaming hot.
- Microwave- Place an individual serving of pumpkin soup in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on HIGH for 1 ½ minutes. Stir, then continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
- Slow Cooker- Add a large batch of leftover pumpkin soup to the slow cooker and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
The creaminess of this soup comes from the pumpkin puree. If your soup seems a little thin, keep simmering to allow more of the broth to evaporate. This will leave you with a naturally thick, creamy pumpkin soup.
If your pumpkin puree was on the drier side or you just prefer a thinner pumpkin soup, stir in some extra broth or water to help thin the soup. Start by mixing in an additional ½ cup of broth and increase from there.
Yes, absolutely! Pumpkin is full of heart-healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it’s jam-packed with antioxidants and is low in calories and carbs. And the best part? This pumpkin soup without cream is naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
If you want an extra rich and creamy pumpkin soup, try stirring in coconut milk or cream, soy milk, yogurt, heavy cream, or half and half.
More Soup Recipes
Pumpkin Soup Without Cream
- Baking sheet
- Immersion blender, blender, or food processor
- Large dutch oven or stockpot
For the Roasted Pumpkin Puree
- 2 medium sugar pumpkins
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Pumpkin Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
For the Roasted Pumpkin Puree
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the top off of the pumpkins, then cut them in half. Remove the seeds and stringy pieces before brushing the pumpkin flesh with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast, flesh side down, for 35-40 minutes or until the flesh can easily be pierced with a knife.2 medium sugar pumpkins, 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Allow the pumpkin to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the skin (it should peel off easily). Place the roasted pumpkin in the bowl of a food processor or blender or use an immersion blender to puree the cooked pumpkin. Set aside.
For the Pumpkin Soup
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the kosher salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper, and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Reduce the heat to low and pour the vegetable broth and water into the pot, scraping the bottom to remove any fond build-up. Bring to a simmer, then add the roasted pumpkin puree. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to a smooth, creamy consistency. Alternatively, you can (carefully) ladle the soup into a blender in batches to blend. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh thyme leaves, or a drizzle of coconut milk.4 cups vegetable stock, 2 cups water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.