Pumpkin Soup with Apple & Spices
This Pumpkin Soup with Apple & Spices is everything you love about fall, all in one convenient bowl. And it gets better—it’s also one of the easiest soup recipes I’ve ever made!
I have been wanting to try a pumpkin soup for what feels like forever, and finally got around to doing so. When I started poking around for recipe inspiration I saw a lot of similar-sounding recipes with pumpkin and spices, but then I stumbled on this one. It immediately stood out from the others because it included apple as a main ingredient, and I knew this would be the pumpkin soup recipe to try.
It turned out fabulous – the tartness of the apples was a perfect balance to the pumpkin. Throw in all of the additional ingredients, and this soup is absolutely bursting with fall flavors.
In addition to the incredible flavor and heartiness of the soup, this is one of the quickest soups I have ever made. From the time I unpacked the groceries to when I was ladling myself a bowl, less than an hour had passed. Usually, soups with this much flavor simmer for hours; being able to whip this up so quickly makes it a perfect weeknight meal, or one for last-minute company.
What You’ll Need
Many of the ingredients in this pumpkin soup recipe are pantry staples, so your shopping list should be a short one! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Granny Smith apples
- Kosher salt – Kosher salt has larger crystals than table salt, so if you’re using table salt instead, start with a smidge less, then taste and add more if needed.
- Vegetable stock – Vegetable stock isn’t the same as broth; broth is unseasoned. If you use broth, season the soup to taste.
- Natural no sugar added applesauce – AKA unsweetened applesauce.
- Ground white pepper
- Ground sage
- Dried thyme
- Ground nutmeg
- Canned pumpkin – Make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pie mix.
- Brown sugar
- Heavy cream
What is the difference between white and black pepper?
White pepper has a distinctive flavor that’s sharper and brighter than your everyday black pepper, and it pairs well with earthy flavors like pumpkin. Although you can use black or pink pepper, I recommend using white pepper in this soup because it adds a certain something that makes the recipe special.
How to Make Pumpkin Soup
I promised you an easy soup, and you’ll see that this recipe delivers! It’s great for those busy fall evenings when you want a cozy dinner that comes together fast.
Sauté the onion and apples. Heat a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and once it’s shimmering, add the onion, apples, and salt. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
Bring the soup to a boil. Pour in the vegetable stock, then add the applesauce, white pepper, sage, thyme, and nutmeg. Bring the soup to a boil and continue to cook until the apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
Finish the soup. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the pumpkin and brown sugar and continue to cook for 10 to 15 more minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it’s smooth, or use a blender to blend the soup in batches. Add the cream and heat over low; add more cream or water if you’d like the soup to be thinner. Remove from heat and ladle the soup into bowls.
Tips for Success
This pumpkin soup is a cinch to make, but following these tips will help you get perfect results every time.
- Don’t use regular applesauce. If you do, the soup will be cloyingly sweet. Look for an applesauce that lists only apples as the ingredient.
- Want to substitute something for the heavy cream? Readers have reported using yogurt, coconut milk, and half-and-half with success.
- Use freshly ground nutmeg if you can. No worries if all you have on hand is ground nutmeg in a jar, but fresh nutmeg really complements the fall flavors in this pumpkin soup.
Here are a few ideas for garnishing and serving pumpkin soup:
- I tossed some pumpkin seeds on top of the soup, but I also think some dried apple slices would be delicious as well!
- If you happen to have fresh sage on hand, you can thinly slice it and fry it in butter until it’s crisp, then use that as a garnish.
- Homemade croutons are amazing in a creamy soup like this.
- Serve with Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, or Homemade Cornbread. Pumpkin soup is also great with a classic grilled cheese sandwich!
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Pumpkin soup will last in the fridge for up to 5 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months. To save space, I like freezing soups in large freezer bags so they can be laid flat and stacked.
To reheat, simply spoon the amount of soup you would like to eat into a pot and warm over medium heat on the stove until it reaches your desired temperature. You can also reheat soup in the microwave. For this, spoon the soup into a bowl, cover it with a plate and reheat it until warm. Pause halfway through to stir the soup. I always recommend covering a soup when reheating in the microwave to avoid splattering.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 6 cups (1.41 l) vegetable stock
- ⅔ cups (133.33 g) natural no sugar added applesauce
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground sage
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
- 30 ounces (850.49 g) canned pumpkin
- ¼ cup (55 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (119 ml) heavy cream
- Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the diced onion, apples and salt. Saute until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, applesauce, white pepper, sage, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to a boil and cook until apples are very tender, about 5 more minutes.
- Add the pumpkin and brown sugar and cook for 10 – 15 minutes over medium heat.
- Use an immersion blender to blend soup until it's smooth. (You can also use a blender to blend the soup in batches.)
- Add the cream to the soup and heat through over very low heat. (You can add more cream or water, if desired, to thin out more.)
- Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with sliced pumpkin seeds or dried apple slices.
- Applesauce: Be sure to use unsweetened applesauce or else the soup will be too sweet.
- White Pepper: White pepper has a distinctive flavor that’s sharper and brighter than your everyday black pepper, and it pairs well with earthy flavors like pumpkin. Although you can use black or pink pepper, I recommend using white pepper in this soup.
- Heavy Cream: You can substitute yogurt, coconut milk, or half-and-half.
- Garnish Recommendations: Pumpkin seeds, dried apple slices, fresh sage (plain or fried), or homemade croutons.
- Serving Suggestions: Serve with Cheddar Bay Biscuits, Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, or Homemade Cornbread. Pumpkin soup is also great with a classic grilled cheese sandwich!
- Storage: The pumpkin soup can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing Instructions: The pumpkin soup can be frozen in an airtight container (or freezer bag) for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop over low heat or in the microwave stirring halfway through the heating time.
Photography by Mihaela Sebrek.