curried pumpkin soup

I don't have very many memories of a cozy college dining hall. It's tough to find much comfort in plastic trays and fluorescent lights.

But there were some days that came close.

On those days, we'd leave class (where I almost definitely would have spent my time doing the crossword puzzle in the school paper), shiver through winter wind and snow across campus, and enter the warm dining hall, where curried pumpkin soup would be waiting for me.

If it was on the menu, I was having it. Warm, spicy, sweet...cozy and creamy.

Since then, I've made a few halfhearted attempts to recreate it, but it never quite turned out right. I gave up.

Then came Hurricane Sandy with her hidden blessings, and I rummaged around in my cupboards to see what would make a warm, cozy soup.

Pumpkin and coconut milk.

And thus, a miracle was born. I made curried pumpkin soup a la Busch dining hall.

And J proclaimed it, "Possibly the best soup I've ever had." Win.

Two of the ingredients come straight from a can and the whole recipe takes about 30 minutes. Double win.

Full of vitamins A and C, healthy coconut fat, spices with all sorts of wonderful properties...vegan. Win. Win. Win.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

2 tbsp vegan butter (or olive/coconut oil)
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
black pepper, to taste (we like a lot)
2 1/2 cups water + 1 large vegetable boullion cube (or 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth)
1 can pumpkin purée
2 bay leaves
1 can full-fat coconut milk

1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent. Then add the garlic, curry, cinnamon, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for an additional minute or so on low heat.
2. Add the water, boullion, pumpkin, and bay leaves. Stir to mix, and heat on high until soup comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk, heat on high, and bring back to a boil. Then turn off the heat. (Don't worry if the coconut milk isn't smooth...the blending will take care of it.)
4. Remove the bay leaves. They'll be hard to see, but a few scoops from the bottom should bring them up. Then very carefully use an immersion blender to blend the soup until very smooth.

Wonderful served with pine nuts and homemade bread.


  1. This soup sounds perfect for a freezing cold week like this one- I might just need to stop at the grocery store for some coconut milk!

    I love eating those things that remind me of the good parts of college dining- there weren't a whole lot of them, but those that were good always bring me back to the best parts of those four years.

  2. what?! I never had anything this good in the dining hall! Looks so yum and easy peasy! And my goodness - that bread looks amazing too.

  3. They served something like this in a dining hall?!!? My I never got this treatment at my college! ;) I've made a similar soup with pumpkin and coconut...and super agree that it is one of the most comforting, easiest things to whip up! Yum!

  4. Oh wow this sounds delicious! I was the same way with the lobster bisque in my college's dining hall. Something about those cold winter trudges across campus just made the bisque taste like a hug.

    1. Tastes just like a hug! Love it...going to use it all the time.

  5. Oh wow, thanks for sharing this! I'm going to have to give it a try soon.

  6. You had curried pumpkin soup at a college dorm? Now that's impressive

  7. Oh my this looks so good.... Interesting to mixin coconut with pumpkin! Yum:)

  8. I love mixing coconut milk with squash and pumpkin! Looks so good.

  9. Can't wait to try this recipe, it looks absolutely yummy. It was a pleasure meeting you last night.


Thanks for making me smile. =)