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Pumpkin Soup

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Flavored with leeks, maple syrup and spices, this pumpkin soup is the ultimate fall comfort food.

Pumpkin Soup

Photo by Johnny Miller, Clarkson Potter 2021

When we think of pumpkin, we usually think of autumn sweets, like pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, but pumpkin’s earthy flavor is wonderful in savory dishes, too. This velvety soup is flavored with leeks, apples, and maple syrup, so it has those sweet undertones that work so well in squash soups, but smoky cumin and spicy cayenne pepper balance out the flavor. If it sounds like an unusual combination, have faith — one reader wrote to me that it was one of the best soups she’s made in 53 years of marriage! I know canned pumpkin feels like cheating, but it’s a great shortcut; if you’d like to roast and purée fresh pumpkin, you’ll need 1¾ cups.

What you’ll need to make pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup ingredients

How to make pumpkin soup

Before starting, it’s important to wash the leeks well — they are notoriously dirty. To clean them, cut off the dark green portions and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Run under water, pulling the layers apart to wash off any dirt, sand, and grit stuck between the layers.


Thinly slice the leeks.


Melt the butter in a soup pot, then add the leeks.


Cook until the leeks are softened, about 10 minutes.


Add the pumpkin purée, apples, herbs, salt, and spices.


As well as the chicken broth, then bring to a boil.


Simmer for about 20 minutes.


Add the cream and, using a stick blender (or regular blender), purée until smooth.


Ladle the pumpkin soup into bowls and top with a swirl of cream and more thyme.

Photo by Johnny Miller, Clarkson Potter 2021

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Pumpkin Soup

Flavored with leeks, maple syrup and spices, this pumpkin soup is the ultimate fall comfort food.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2.5 pounds leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin purée
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, plus more for garnish


  1. Melt the butter in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the pumpkin, apple, broth, maple syrup, salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes more.
  3. Add the heavy cream. Use a stick blender to purée the soup until completely smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly and use a blender to purée in batches. Be sure to remove the center knob on the blender and cover with a dishtowel to avoid splatters.) Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a swirl of cream (see note below) and fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
  4. Note: To add a swirl of cream that floats on top of the soup, whip a few tablespoons of cream with a whisk until ever so slightly thickened. Then use a teaspoon to drizzle and swirl the cream over the soup.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: about 1 1/2 cups each
  • Calories: 331
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53 g
  • Sugar: 24 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 702 mg
  • Cholesterol: 27 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Another winning recipe from Once Upon a Chef. The hardest part (tedious, not really hard) was cleaning the leeks, but I knew how to do it thanks to Jenn’s recipe note. I like pumpkin soup but had not made it in a very long time and never with leeks.The flavor of this soup recipe is outstanding. I can’t wait to share the soup and the recipe with others.

    • — Andrea on January 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Wow🤩 🤤
    What a wonderful symphony of flavours dancing around in my mouth. Deeeelicious.

    Thank you!

    • — Shannon on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • This soup is so good and easy. I think this is the fourth batch I’ve made. I always put one container in the freezer for lazy days. I don’t add the maple syrup.

    • — Marjory on December 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi,

    Can the chicken broth be substituted for vegetable broth?


    • — Samantha on November 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Definitely — enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can I substitute heavy cream with yogurt? I don’t have cream at home.

    • — JC on November 23, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yes that will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • Wow! I love all things pumpkin, but this soup is the tops! I will be making this again and again and again! Wonderful recipe! Thank you for posting!

    • — Gloria Scalise on October 31, 2022
    • Reply

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