This is a classic, creamy pumpkin soup that is easy to make using fresh pumpkin and a handful of other simple ingredients. This is the perfect healthy comfort food for a weeknight lunch or dinner.
This recipe was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated with new photos and more helpful content. The recipe remains the same!
This dairy free pumpkin soup uses coconut milk to make it silky smooth and creamy without leaving a strong coconut flavour. However if you’d prefer to make it without coconut milk, you can leave it out and the pumpkin soup will still taste amazing.
It’s a simple recipe using just a few ingredients, however all play their role in making this classic recipe hero the flavour of the pumpkin. It’s rich and creamy and just has to be eaten with a piece of crusty bread for dunking and yes, wiping the bowl clean!
This recipe is filled with nostalgia for me. It’s my mum’s recipe and was pretty much her signature dish when I was growing up. To this day each spoonful of this soup fills me with that warm connection with my childhood and family.
My mum taught me how to cook instinctively, knowing what flavours go together, how to measure with approximate values and how to trust look and feel over a recipe’s instructions. As if to confirm that when I found the handwritten recipe I had scrawled on a piece of paper after asking mum for it many years ago after I’d moved out of home, it was basically just an ingredient list – no real quantities.
But to be fair, this recipe kind of works with what you have, it’s forgiving and it can be adapted.
Disclaimer is that I have made a change to the original recipe from when I was a kid, and that’s the swap of cream to coconut milk to make this dairy free dinner. What I haven’t changed is the generous amount of freshly grated nutmeg, the absolute key ingredient in this soup that takes it to the next level.
You don’t need anything fancy to make this dairy free pumpkin soup, just a few good quality simple ingredients.
- Pumpkin – See below for the best pumpkin to use for this soup. As for size, each pumpkin is different but I usually use about a quarter of a small Kent pumpkin but a better guide is to use roughly the same size piece as your two potatoes so you have an even amount.
- Potatoes – use two large potatoes or three smaller ones peeled and washed. It doesn’t really matter the variety.
- Dairy-free butter – to build the rich flavour Mum always used butter but you can also substitute with olive oil as well.
- Onion – the base of the soup flavour.
- Chicken stock – the traditional recipe always used chicken stock but vegetable stock or even water in a pinch works just fine.
- Bay leaves – one of the iconic flavours to this soup, you could leave it out but it won’t contain the full flavour profile if you do.
- Nutmeg – it absolutely has to be freshly grated. If I make you buy one special ingredient let it be this as it will transform your soup from plain and boring to incredible.
- Coconut milk – always use canned coconut milk. My favourite is the TCC brand as it’s super creamy and doesn’t have an overpowering flavour in the soup.
- Salt & pepper – seasoning is essential.
The Best Pumpkin for Pumpkin Soup
My preference is to use Kent pumpkin (sometimes called Jap pumpkin) for this recipe but any standard pumpkin variety such as Queensland Blue or Jarrahdale will work. You can also use Butternut pumpkin which is known as butternut squash in the US.
If you’re from the US and want to make this, I’d recommend using butternut squash for the best results as other pumpkin varieties such as those used to make Halloween carved pumpkins, while edible, are not going to taste that good.
I have never tried pumpkin puree in this recipe, and if you wanted to use that instead I’d recommend looking for a different recipe that calls for it specifically as this one is really for using fresh pumpkin.
The best thing about this recipe (other than it tasting so good) is that it really is super simple to make. You’ll need a large, heavy based pot and either a standard blender or an immersion blender as this is a pureed soup.
Start by prepping your veggies. Dice the onion and peel and slice the pumpkin and the potatoes. Why are we slicing the vegetables rather than chopping them into cubes? Well, because that’s how Mum always did it. Also it helps the vegetables cook quickly and evenly so that it’s much easier to blend at the end.
Start cooking your onion by heating the dairy free butter or olive oil in the pot. Sauté the onion until it’s soft and translucent.
Add in the potatoes and pumpkin and mix around until coated in the onion and butter. Add the chicken stock until all of the vegetables are submerged. You may need a little extra water to top it up depending on how big your vegetables are.
Add the bay leaf and nutmeg and bring to a boil before turning down and letting simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are super soft and tender.
Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf and let the soup cool down slightly. This will help prevent the soup from exploding when blending! Either transfer to your blender or use an immersion blender directly in the pot and puree the soup until super smooth and creamy.
Turn the heat back onto low and add the coconut milk to the soup and mix through. Season with salt and pepper and of course, extra freshly grated nutmeg.
Serve with fresh or toasted crusty bread.
Storing and freezing
I love pumpkin soup for meal prep or making ahead of time because it reheats perfectly. It’s one of those meals that doesn’t change its flavour whether it’s freshly made or reheated.
To reheat, do so on the stove slowly or in the microwave covered, mixing well as you heat as soup has a tendency to explode and bubble out when being reheated.
If the soup is too thick, you can also just thin it out with a splash of water.
Your soup will last in the fridge for around 4 days otherwise you can freeze it.
To freeze, I like to do this in individual portions for up to three months. To reheat, follow the above instructions.
More dairy free soup recipes:
Mum’s Pumpkin Soup
- ¼ piece of pumpkin
- 2 large potatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons dairy-free butter
- 1 onion
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- ½ cup coconut milk
- salt & pepper
- Peel pumpkin and potatoes and slice into thin pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a large, heavy based pot on the stove. While this is heating up, finely dice the onion. Add dairy-free butter to the pot until melted before adding the onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add sliced pumpkin and potatoes to the pot and mix for about a minute until covered with the butter and onion mixture. Add chicken stock so that the vegetables are covered. Add bay leaves and freshly grated nutmeg and stir. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and beginning to break down.
- Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for about 10-15 minutes before blending. You can either use an immersion blender or transfer to a regular blender in batches and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer blended soup back to the pot and place back on the heat. Add coconut milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and stir until combined and the soup is thick and hot. Serve with a slice of freshly toasted bread.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.