Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts

Fall Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Soup and Stew, Thanksgiving Recipes | 39 comments

I have made a pumpkin soup in the past. It was okay, but I’ve never made it since then so it obviously didn’t make too big an impression in our house. This recipe for Harvest Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese was AMAZING. And incredibly quick to prepare. Dinner was done and on the table within just a little over 30 minutes, and that was with a five and three year old helping me.

Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts

It was kind of nice to have the kids cooking dinner with me. They’re usually more into the baking, but Madeline especially has been interested in anything that involves stirring lately. She is pretty good at sauteing (of course I still supervise closely). Because Logan is still as picky as ever I am always happy when he shows an interest in helping cook savory dishes. This child has such a sweet tooth.

My only complaint about this recipe was that the original recipe said it served 4-6. I was hoping for some leftovers for the next night, but we only got about 3 servings as a main dish out of it. There was just enough left for lunch the next day. If you’d like leftovers plan on doubling the recipe. Served with a slice of crusty bread (like Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread) this is a pretty filling meal, which surprised me because with only a 1/2 cup of half and half in the recipe there isn’t much in terms of heavy ingredients.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

This would be a great soup for any Autumn evening, but I think it would be a nice, unexpected starter or side for Thanksgiving as well. On another note, I recently made two new faux tabletops for food photography backgrounds. I couldn’t decide which photo I liked better, so I decided to include both. To me, each is pretty in a different way. I like the way the soup pops against the dark background, but I love the shimmery reflection I caught on the soup in the other photo.

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Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts

adapted from Cook's Illustrated: Soups, Stews and Chilis
serves 3-4 as a main dish

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2 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups chicken broth, plus extra for thinning
1 - 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup half and half
salt and pepper, to taste
walnuts and blue cheese for garnish


Melt the butter in a medium dutch oven pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot, and celery and cook until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, and nutmeg. Continue to saute and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the broth, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and syrup and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Working in batches, if necessary, puree the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the soup to the dutch oven.

Stir in the half and half and and additional broth to adjust the soup's consistency (I didn't have to add any extra liquid). Season to taste with salt and pepper and heat gently over low heat until hot. Garnish individual bowls with walnuts and blue cheese.

To toast the walnuts: toss them with a bit of olive oil and saute in a small pan or toast in the toaster oven for 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Cheri - November 04, 2010 @ 7:25 am

    This sounds delicious! I’m usually a little wary of savoury pumpkin anything because I always find it quite bland. But this sounds like it would have loads of flavour. I will have to give it a try soon. Sadly the blue cheese will have to wait until there is no longer a baby in my belly *sniff*.


  • 2
    Robyn - November 04, 2010 @ 7:30 am

    I love when my son helps me in the kitchen, too. And this soup look delicious.


  • 3
    Chris @ The Peche - November 04, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    The soup looks fantastic, but the blue cheese clinched it for me. I want this now (and it’s only 9:30 a.m.)


  • 4
    rosanna - November 04, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    So delicious… I love pumkin soups, and yours with the toasted walnuts must be just irresistible…


  • 5
    Shaina - November 04, 2010 @ 7:40 am

    I love the addition of blue cheese to the soup! It looks fantastic.


  • 6
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - November 04, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    Will you forgive me if I leave out the blue cheese? The rest of it though, looks divine. The first time I had pumpkin soup was at a tiny pub in Essex, England, that just happens to be owned and run by Jamie Oliver’s parents. I had a spicy pumpkin curry soup, and it was incredible. It’s been one of my favorites ever since.


  • 7
    Kim @ Quit Eating Out - November 04, 2010 @ 9:43 am

    I love making memories with my kiddos and having their help in the kitchen. This soup sounds so great on a cold day like today… and on a busy weeknight.


  • 8
    Walnut Lovers - November 04, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    The blue cheese sold me instantly! Thanks for sharing this is a delicious blog!


  • 9
    Lisa Flinders - November 04, 2010 @ 10:16 am

    So tell me. Is this a sweet recipe? I am in the search of a sweet one… one that tastes like a dessert. ;)


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 4th, 2010 @ 10:52 AM

      Sorry Lisa, this is not a sweet recipe. Definitely very savory with the cumin, leeks, and blue cheese. Here is a recipe that sound sweeter, but I haven’t made it: Apple Pumpkin Soup

    • Lisa Flinders replied: — November 6th, 2010 @ 9:10 AM

      Thanks, Katie.
      I will give it a try. Love your blog!

  • 10
    Rebekah - November 04, 2010 @ 10:27 am

    Another great use of pumpkin. I am storing all of these up!


  • 11
    My Man's Belly - November 04, 2010 @ 11:56 am

    I haven’t made pumpkin soup yet…pretty much every other way BUT soup. This one looks like it tastes great and it’s simple to make. Should be a good one for me to start with.


  • 12
    naomi - November 04, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

    Katie, I LOVE THIS! Omg, I love pumpkin soup as it is, I never thought to add blue cheese to it.

    The picture looks great as well.


  • 13
    Jehancancook - November 04, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

    I haven’t had pumpkin soup in years but this looks awesome. I can see blue cheese being a nice addition.


  • 14
    Laurel - November 04, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    I was in the middle of making a different pumpkin soup recipe when I saw this. It looks so yummy (and better than the recipe I had). I like the one I have, but felt it needed something more. I took parts of this recipe and tweeked mine (since I was almost finished making it) and I am really happy with the results. I don’t have celery and carrots in mine, but I do have sweet potatoes and it is a nice combo with the pumpkin. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I think we will have to have pumpkin soup again very soon. :)


  • 15
    bridget {bake at 350} - November 04, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    Beautiful pictures and soup!!!


  • 16
    the blissful baker - November 04, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    i love pumpkin soup, this recipe looks delicious! i especially like that it includes walnuts, yum!


  • 17
    marla {family fresh cooking} - November 04, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

    Love both of the photos, each unique & quite different. This soup sounds wonderful. It would be a full meal for me with a side salad. The toasted walnuts & blue cheese make it extra special. xo


  • 18
    Lauren - November 04, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    I can only imagine how delicious this soup is – especially with the addition of walnuts and blue cheese. Yum!


  • 19
    Cookin' Canuck - November 04, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    What a gorgeous soup, Katie! I love soups that are so easy to prepare on weeknights. Blue cheese is a really nice touch.


  • 20
    Tickled Red - November 04, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    That looks wickedly delicious!! I am intrigued with the addition of blue cheese. I am up for a test taste at anytime love :)


  • 21
    Nancy-The Sensitive Pantry - November 04, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    I have a big old fat pumpkin on my counter waiting to be roasted. It was calling out to be a pie but now I just don’t know…this soup is tantalizing.


  • 22
    HappyWhenNotHungry - November 05, 2010 @ 6:37 am

    This soup looks amazing and I love the addition of the toasted walnuts and blue cheese. What an awesome combination. Thanks for sharing!


  • 23
    TidyMom - November 06, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    I would LOVE to try this Katie…..I’m going to share with my mom…….I know she would LOVE it and she doesn’t cook much for just herself any more.


  • 24
    Kerstin - November 06, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    What a lovely soup, sounds so flavorful with that blue cheese crumble garnish!


  • 25
    LimeCake - November 07, 2010 @ 2:04 am

    what a lovely soup! great flavours!


  • 26
    Jeanette - November 07, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    This soup sounds delicious and I love your photos. What did you use for your faux tabletops?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — November 7th, 2010 @ 1:08 PM

      They are just wainscoting or plain wood from Home Depot that I stained and/or painted.

  • 27
    ali @ gimmesomeoven - November 07, 2010 @ 7:18 am

    Beautiful! And I love the blue cheese addition!!


  • 28
    Jessica - November 15, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight… and wow! It was fantastic!! I loved it, my husband loved it, and our 3 yr old… well, he had Annies Mac & Cheese. oh well. maybe next time for him… and there will certainly be a next time, this recipe is a keeper! Thanks!!


  • 29
    DawnK - December 01, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    Sounds delicious, but blue cheese not my thing! LOL! I like the picture with the shiny soup!


  • 30
    Sakre - November 25, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    I made this soup for Thanksgiving and it was amazing! Definitely a recipe to keep.


  • 31
    Shelley - October 14, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    How well does this hold up when made ahead of time, and reheated..


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 17th, 2012 @ 2:58 PM

      It will work fine as long as you do not add the blue cheese and walnuts till just before serving.

  • 32
    Jen - November 03, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    I have been searching for a perfect pumpkin soup and I think I have finally found the best recipe! Can’t wait to make this. Love the idea of the blue cheese.
    Thanks so much!


  • 33
    Ricci Miller - December 30, 2012 @ 3:20 pm

    Thanks Katie! I’ve been sick since Christmas Eve, and when searching for soup recipes, Pumpkin soup enticed me for a few reasons: I liked the idea of smooth soup going down my throat instead of traditional chicken soup, I had a can of pumpkin left from the holidays, and I have had one pumpkin soup before and loved it, but have never tried to make it. Well, I had to tweak a few things because I didn’t have 1/2 and 1/2 or coriander, so I added coconut milk instead of 1/2 and 1/2, added a dash of clove, celery seed, and curry, and I added an apple. It was easy and so wonderful!


  • 34
    Christi Landrum - August 30, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

    This was absolutely delicious! In spite of the fact that I had to do 3 substitutions since I didn’t have all the ingredients and live remotely. Skipped celery.. Almonds work great. Feta works great. Sour cream is a fine substitution for half and half too. Mangia! Mangia!


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