Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Charleston-based photographer and regular Gardenista contributor Olivia Rae James recently shared this recipe for a pumpkin soup that uses coconut milk and cayenne pepper for an unexpected twist. Nothing saccharine about this pumpkin recipe.

Above: Not all pumpkins are alike. Making a delicious pumpkin soup is 90 percent about the pumpkin that you choose. Pie pumpkins, though serviceable in a pie that’s filled with cream and eggs and loads of sweeteners, will likely dissappoint in a pumpkin soup. The flavor is bland and luckluster. Olivia chose the small Red Kuri pumpkin for this soup. The pumpkin has a mild, nutty flavor and smooth flesh that make it perfect for blending into soups.

pumpkin soup by olivia rae james | gardenista

Above: She coated pumpkin cubes with sea salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne for kick.

pumpkin soup by olivia rae james | gardensita

Above: Roasting the pumpkins with the seasoning helps bring out the sweet, rich flavor of the pumpkin.

pumpkin soup by olivia rae james | gardensita

Above: Next, Olivia combined the pumpkin with coconut milk and vegetable stock in a blender. If your pumpkin cools during this process, pour the mixture into a sauté pan and reheat.

pumpkin soup by olivia rae james | gardensita

Roasted Pumpkin Soup


  • 1 small red kuri pumpkin (or any autumn squash), cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Instructions: Chop pumpkin into one-inch cubes and coat with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. Roast on a baking sheet at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown and slightly charred, rotating on the pan every 8 minutes or so. Transfer roasted pumpkin to a blender with vegetable stock and coconut milk and blend until smooth (watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t boil over). As the liquid thickens, add mustard, salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the layered celeriac, covering completely (if it looks soupy, all the better). Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, covering completely. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme and bake for from 35 to 40 minutes, until the liquid is burbling and the cheese has turned richly golden-brown. Serve hot, preferably in front of a roaring fire.


Sue M.
Sue Magee1 years ago

I've never thought of adding coconut milk to soup before - will try it this evening :)

Nimue P.

I don't see celeriac in the ingredient list but it was mentioned in the prep, I don't see cheese in the ingredient list but cheese is definitely mentioned in the prep - so not a vegan soup then as it was supposed to be.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you :)

Kristina Ketelsen
Past Member 1 years ago

I was reading another article yesterday. The writer meant to type "proverbial" but ended up with "preverbal," whatever that means. Seriously, if you're going to be professional about posting, please proofread!

Emma B
Emma B1 years ago

Yummo! Thanks!

Julie W.
Julie W.1 years ago

robin b: " I don't want to sound mean but who proofreads these postings?" You're not mean, this happens too often. I get the impression Care2 doesn't proofread these before putting them out there. They make a lot of glaringly obvious mistakes.

robin B.
Rob B.1 years ago

Okay. I am reading all these comments and has anyone else noticed that the directions don't match the ingredients? Celriac? Shredded cheese (this was supposed to be a vegan recipe). I don't want to sound mean but who proofreads these postings?

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Borg Drone
Past Member 2 years ago

Soup.. that's exactly what i need right now..

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

Yummy!!! I wish I could be eating this soup right at this moment!. I hope I can find this specific type of pumpkin. I know the recipe says you can use squash, but, I would.prefer the pumpkin for sure!.