This spicy pumpkin soup recipe is made Cajun style with a rich roux that thickens the entire pot and incorporates lots of fresh pumpkin and seasonings.
It's that time of year, my friends. Pumpkin EVERYWHERE. I have no issue with pumpkins. In fact, I enjoy them very much. They have a nice flavor and soften up easily when cooked, so you can make so many different recipes with them. Some people tire of them because the season is so short and we're bombarded with pumpkin during the season.
I'm here to bombard you just a bit more with this recipe, but believe me, it's worth it. We're talking Spicy Pumpkin Soup, and you are going to LOVE it, my spicy food loving friends.
My spicy pumpkin soup recipe is rich and creamy and HUGE on FLAVOR because we're making it differently from most pumpkin soups out there. My recipe makes it Cajun style, starting with a thick and flavorful roux, then brings in lots of fresh pumpkin, the Cajun Holy Trinity of veggies (bell pepper, onion, celery + garlic), and a tasty blend of Cajun seasonings.
What more could you ask for in a pumpkin soup? It doesn't get any better than this. I'd set my pumpkin soup recipe against any other recipe out there. I love it that much. Such a great recipe. Plus, I'll show you how to make a few variations in the Recipe Tips section.
That said, let's talk about how we make the recipe, shall we?
Pumpkin Soup Ingredients
- Peanut Oil or Vegetable Oil. For making a roux.
- 2 Small Pie Pumpkins. Or use 3 pounds in weight of peeled pumpkin. You can use pumpkin purée.
- Peppers. Bell pepper, Fresno pepper, jalapeno pepper. You can use peppers of your personal choice.
- Other Vegetables. Onion, Celery, Garlic.
- Seasonings. Cajun seasonings, salt and pepper.
- Chicken Stock. You can use vegetable broth or stock as well.
- Heavy Cream. Optional, for a creamier soup.
- For Serving. Fresh chopped herbs spicy chili flakes, extra virgin olive oil, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (see recipe notes)
Mike's Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe - the Steps
Peel the Pumpkin. First, gather up a couple of small pie pumpkins. Remove the stems, slice them into quarters (or eighths), and remove the innards and seeds. Reserve the seeds, if desired. Peel the pumpkin and chop up the pumpkin flesh.
The yield of fresh pumpkin is about 12 cups, or 3 pounds in weight of peeled pumpkin. It's OK if you're off a little. Set them aside for now.
Make the Roux. To make your roux, add ½ cup peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add flour and stir. Cook for 10-15 minutes, constantly stirring, until the roux turns a light blonde brown. You can cook it longer for a darker, richer color and flavor.
See my video on how to make a roux for a good demonstration.
Add the Veggies. Add the pumpkin, chopped peppers, 1 chopped onion, 2-3 stalks chopped celery and a few cloves of chopped garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes. I like a lot of peppers, onion and garlic.
For the peppers, you can use green bell pepper, which is traditional for Cajun cooking, but I've used a couple jalapeno peppers and some Fresno peppers picked from my garden. I like it a bit spicy. Shocking, I know.
Add Cajun seasoning and chicken broth or stock. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook at medium-low heat and simmer for 30 minutes to thicken. You can simmer longer if you’d like. I often simmer for 1 hour. See how everything softens up and breaks down.
Process. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or transfer the soup in batches to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. See how nice and creamy it gets?
Stir in the heavy cream.
Serve into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.
Boome! Done! Looks wonderful, doesn't it? It's SUPER FLAVORFUL, definitely one of the best pumpkin soups out there. I love it. Big pumpkin flavor.
But, what should you do with the pumpkin seeds?
Save & Cook the Pumpkin Seeds
Save your pumpkin seeds and cook them up. No need to throw them away. I like to either pan cook them or roast them in the oven with some seasonings, then use them as a garnish. I save the rest for a snack.
Here's a quick recipe:
- 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds (removed from the pumpkin)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend (or use Creole seasonings)
- Salt and black pepper
FOR PAN COOKED PUMPKIN SEEDS
- Rinse the pumpkin seeds to remove any pumpkin pulp. Dry them with kitchen towels. Do not use paper towels, as the seeds will stick.
- Heat the oil and butter in a pan to medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds along with the Cajun seasoning blend and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat. Cool slightly and serve.
FOR OVEN ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Toss the cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds in a large bowl with oil, melted butter and Cajun seasoning blend.
- Spread the seeds on a large baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 45 minutes, or until the seeds are golden brown. Stir them up about half way through to ensure even cooking.
Makes 2 cups pumpkin seeds.
Use some of them to garnish your bowl of pumpkin soup, then save the rest in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a snack.
See my Spicy Pumpkin Seeds recipe here.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Blending. Blend the soup to your preference. I like mine very creamy, and this gets very creamy. If you prefer a chunkier soup, only process half the batch.
- Canned Pumpkin. Yes, you can make this soup with canned pumpkin or pumpkin purée. Just add it along with the chicken broth and seasonings, then allow to simmer and thicken. Then puree and proceed with the recipe.
- Heavy Cream. I like to add a bit of heavy cream to my soup for both an extra creamy texture and flavor. The soup is pretty creamy on its own, though, so skip if you’d like to save calories. Or, try a sour cream or crema mixed with a bit of water or milk to swirl into the soup.
- Seasonings. I am using a spicy homemade Cajun seasonings blend (Creole works great, too), but if you’d like to go with flavors that are more traditional to pumpkin soup, skip the Cajun blend and go with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. A good Jamaican Jerk seasoning blend works great with this recipe as well. Try adding maple syrup for a bit of sweetness.
- Curried Pumpkin Soup. As a variation, use curry powder and seasonings instead, and use a can of coconut milk in place of part of the broth. Delicious.
- Other Veggies. Try making this exact same recipe by using butternut squash or carrots in place of the pumpkin. I have a great recipe for Spicy Carrot Soup this way.
- Make it a Meal. Stretch this soup onto a meal by adding in a protein, like andouille sausage, chicken, chorizo or other favorite meat. For a vegetarian version, try chickpeas or kidney beans.
- Scale It Up. This soup is very scalable, so if you’d like to make an extra large batch, you can easily double the ingredients. You may need to get a bigger pot, though!
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy my spicy pumpkin soup! Definitely one of my favorites. If you love soups, check out...
Check Out Some of My Other Popular Soup Recipes
- Cajun Style Carrot Soup
- Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- Creamy Roasted Hatch Chile Soup
- 30-Minute Sweet Potato Soup
- Cheesy Guajillo-Potato Soup
- Sweet Pepper-Sweet Corn Chowder
- Spicy Sausage Soup
- Roasted Poblano Soup
- Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- ½ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
- ½ cup flour
- 2 small pie pumpkins (the yield of fresh pumpkin is about 12 cups, or 3 pounds in weight of peeled pumpkin)
- 1 medium bell pepper chopped I used some Fresno peppers & jalapeno peppers for more heat
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped (or more as desired! I like a lot of garlic)
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning or more to taste
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup heavy cream optional for extra creamy texture and flavor
- For Serving: Fresh chopped herbs spicy chili flakes, extra virgin olive oil, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (see recipe notes)
- Remove the stems, slice them into quarters (or eighths), and remove the innards and seeds. Reserve the seeds, if desired. Peel the pumpkin and chop up the pumpkin flesh. The yield of fresh pumpkin is about 12 cups, or 3 pounds in weight of peeled pumpkin. It's OK if you're off a little. Set them aside for now.
- Add ½ cup peanut oil to a large pot and heat to medium heat. Add flour and stir. Cook for 10-15 minutes, constantly stirring, until the roux turns a light blonde brown. You can cook it longer for a darker, richer color and flavor.
- Add pumpkin, peppers, onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add Cajun seasoning and chicken stock. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom.
- Cook at medium-low heat for 30 minutes to thicken. You can simmer longer if you’d like. I often simmer for 1 hour.
- Process the mixture with an immersion blender, or transfer the soup in batches to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
- Stir in the heavy cream.
- Serve into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes and a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 10/25/21 to include new information. It was originally published on 10/7/19.