If you’re in the market for a rich, creamy-dreamy, restaurant-style Pumpkin Bisque, look no further! This quick and easy vegan pumpkin soup is made with canned pumpkin purée and creamy coconut milk for a delightful bowl of fall-inspired fare in just 30 minutes.
This recipe was originally published on September 20, 2020. It was updated with new photos and information on August 5, 2023.
This post is sponsored by Chef's Choice. All opinions are my own.
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This delectable pumpkin cream soup is quick and easy without compromising on flavor or flair. You'll be able to serve this restaurant-worthy meal to your family or guests in just 30 minutes with my easy recipe!
Before you think making vegan cream of pumpkin soup involves an elaborate kitchen marathon, let me assure you — convenience is the name of the game here. We're turning to a trusty can of pumpkin purée to save us time and effort while still delivering that perfect pumpkin punch. No mess, no fuss — just pure pumpkin magic.
But what truly sets this creamy vegan soup apart is the secret behind its luxurious texture. We're ditching the dairy, but fear not! Our creamy savior comes in the form of coconut milk, infusing the soup with richness without any of the – ahem – uncomfortable side effects of cream.
Oh, and did I mention the best part? This mouthwatering pumpkin cream soup comes together with just 11 simple ingredients, most of which are probably already hanging out on your pantry shelves. Overwhelming grocery lists can take a hike!
So, gather 'round, and let's dive into this delightful recipe together. Get ready for a pumpkin extravaganza that'll have you hooked from the very first slurp! Let's get cooking!🎃
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Bisque Recipe
Still undecided? Aside from being a cozy, comforting, autumnal meal, this recipe for vegan pumpkin soup is also:
- Quick & Easy - You’ll have it on the table in just 30 short minutes. Heck, you can barely watch an episode of TV in that amount of time!
- Made With Only 11 Simple Ingredients - And most of them are probably already in your pantry.
- Rich, Creamy, & Dairy-Free - Don’t let the lusciously creamy texture of this pumpkin bisque fool you — it’s completely plant-based and vegan-friendly!
- Allergen-Friendly - I developed this healthy pumpkin soup recipe to be dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, and vegan, so pretty much everyone can get in on the tastiness. Oh, and if coconuts are a no-no? Simply swap in your favorite vegan whipping cream. Easy peasy!
- Meal Prep-Friendly - One of the best parts of making a batch of soup is that it somehow magically gets even tastier after a night or two in the fridge. Plus, since this pumpkin soup is dairy-free, it’s also perfect for freezing so homemade coziness is never far from reach.
As promised, you only need 11 simple ingredients to make this vegan recipe for pumpkin bisque. Here’s what to grab:
- Onion - You can use any color of onion (red, white, or yellow) that you happen to have on hand. Shallots are also totally acceptable!
- Green onions - Use the pale green/white parts for the best flavor, then save the dark greens for a gorgeous garnish.
- Olive Oil - Just your normal cooking oil is perfect here!
- Vegetable Broth - Feel free to use either homemade or store-bought. If you’re short on space, you can’t beat “Better Than Bouillon” pastes.
- Canned Pumpkin Purée - Make sure you’re getting 100% pure pumpkin, NOT canned pumpkin pie filling. You’re also welcome to swap in homemade pumpkin purée, or any other orange-fleshed winter squash purée you prefer.
- Dried Thyme - With a woodsy, citrusy, floral profile, thyme is definitely a heavy-hitter in the flavor department. If you’re working with fresh herbs, use roughly 3x as much as dry.
- Ground Sage - This earthy, peppery herb smells and tastes like Thanksgiving in my book. It’s the perfect match for sweet pumpkin!
- Garlic Powder - For extra flavor! Feel free to use 1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves instead.
- Fine Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper - For basic seasoning.
- Chef's Choice Coconut Milk - For all that creamy goodness. If you can’t do coconut, feel free to use your favorite vegan cream alternative. If dairy doesn’t bother you, half-n-half is also a great swap!
How To Make Pumpkin Soup With Canned Pumpkin
This vegan pumpkin soup recipe comes together in a flash thanks to my canned pumpkin hack. Here’s what to do:
Step 1: Chop the onions and green onions. NOTE: If you're not using a blender at the end, chop them as finely as possible.
Step 2: Sauté the onions and green onions over medium heat for about 7 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Step 3: Add Remaining Ingredients, In Order. Add the thyme and sage, and sauté for another minute. Pour in the pumpkin purée, vegetable broth, and garlic powder, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Step 4: Blend. If you have an immersion blender, use it right in the pot to purée the pumpkin soup until it's smooth. If you're using a regular blender, let the soup cool slightly before pouring it in and blending it until smooth, working in batches as needed.
Step 5: Taste for seasoning, adjust, and serve. Enjoy!
As much as I love this dairy-free pumpkin soup with coconut milk just the way it is written, soup recipes like this are nearly infinitely tweakable. Here are just a few ways to customize your batch:
- Swap Your Squash - Make creamy butternut squash soup by swapping in canned squash purée.
- Make It From Scratch - My favorite part of this creamy pumpkin soup recipe is that it can be made with primarily pantry staples. That said, if you have a bit of extra time on your hands, you can absolutely roast your own pumpkin or squash, then purée it before adding it to this tasty vegan soup.
- Spicy Pumpkin Soup - If you like a bit of heat in your healthy pumpkin soup, consider adding a finely chopped jalapeño to the mix with your onions and/or drizzling on some fiery sriracha before serving.
- Roasted Garlic Heaven: Boost the rich, slightly sweet flavor profile by roasting a few garlic cloves alongside the onions before blending them into the soup.
- Herby Pesto Drizzle: Prepare a quick and vibrant herb pesto using basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and a hint of lemon juice. Drizzle it over the top of your pumpkin soup to infuse it with an herbaceous burst.
- Smoky Paprika Kick: Give your soup a smoky essence by adding a pinch of Spanish smoked paprika. This savory addition will complement the creamy pumpkin and coconut base perfectly.
Feel free to mix and match these variations to find your own signature pumpkin soup flavor. Whether you're in the mood for something exotic, comforting, or bursting with fresh ingredients, there's a perfect variation waiting for you!
To take this dairy-free pumpkin soup to soaring new heights of restaurant-level deliciousness, consider any of the following serving suggestions:
- The “Lunch Special” - Serve this dairy-free pumpkin bisque soup with a half sandwich or small salad to replicate your favorite diner meal. It goes particularly well with pasta salad or Panzanella salad.
- Pepita Perfection: Toast some pumpkin seeds in the oven with a sprinkle of salt and use them as a crunchy garnish for your soup.
- Coconut Cream Swirl: Before serving, swirl a spoonful of coconut cream on top of the soup for a beautiful, extra creamy touch.
- Cornbread Croutons: Serve this soup topped with some toasty crunchy cornbread croutons!
- Herb Sprinkle: Freshly chopped herbs like sage, thyme, or scallion greens make for an aromatic and visually appealing garnish that enhances the flavors of the soup.
- Garlic Crostini: Serve the soup alongside some crispy garlic crostini or toasted baguette slices. They're perfect for dipping!
- Grilled Cheesy Sandwiches: Pair your pumpkin soup with vegan grilled cheese sandwiches for a fun, fall-flavored twist on the classic tomato soup pairing.
- Quinoa or Farro Topping: For added heartiness, sprinkle some cooked quinoa or farro on top of the soup to turn your bowl into a complete, filling meal.
- Pomegranate Seeds: Boost the visual appeal and add a burst of sweet-tart flavor with a handful of festive pomegranate arils sprinkled on top.
- Protein Party: Dice and pan-fry some tofu or chickpeas until crispy, and use them as protein-packed croutons. They'll bring a fantastic protein-packed twist to your soup.
- Mushroom Magic: Cook a variety of mushrooms in a separate pan until golden and fragrant, then spoon them on top of the soup to elevate its earthy flavor.
Recipe Success Tips
Here are some recipe success tips to ensure your creamy vegan pumpkin bisque turns out perfectly every time:
- Consistency is Key: While blending the soup, ensure you achieve a smooth and velvety consistency. Take your time to blend the ingredients thoroughly for that luscious, creamy texture.
- Don't Boil Coconut Milk: When simmering the soup, avoid boiling as the coconut milk may separate or curdle. Keep the heat low to maintain a smooth and consistent texture.
- Control the Spice: If you're experimenting with adding different spices or seasonings, go slowly. It's much easier to add more than to tone down when you've added too much!
- Keep an Eye on the Onions: While sautéing the onions, make sure they become translucent and slightly caramelized but not burnt. Burnt onions are bitter, and that's not what we're going for.
- Invest in an immersion blender. If you’re someone who likes making soup on the regular, this space-saving appliance will make your life so much better. No more blending in batches or dirtying another big container — just silky smooth perfection from the convenience of a stick!
- Go for garnishing gold. Creamy soups sometimes get a bad rap for not feeling like “real meals.” Flip the script by adding some colorful, crunchy, texturally interesting bits to the top and take your pumpkin soup from the supporting role to the lead actor.
- Store Properly: To store any leftover soup, allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. If you want to freeze it, leave some headspace in the container to accommodate expansion, and it will keep well for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost overnight in the fridge then reheat as needed.
- Reheat Gradually: When reheating the soup, do it gently over low to medium heat to preserve its creamy texture. Stir frequently to avoid scorching and separation.
Absolutely! Simply swap in your favorite unsweetened, unflavored, non-coconut vegan creamer instead.
First up, we've got bisque! Picture this: a rich and creamy soup that's oh-so-smooth and velvety. It's traditionally made with shellfish like lobster, crab, shrimp, or crayfish, but don't worry, there are veggie versions too. The secret to that luxurious texture is pureeing the main ingredients or straining out any coarse bits. Oh, and you can thank heavy cream (or sometimes cream mixed with broth) for its thickness and indulgent taste. Bisques are all about intense flavors, often made by simmering shellfish shells or sautéed veggies for that extra oomph.
Now, let's talk soup! Soup is like a culinary playground with endless possibilities. It can be made with pretty much anything your taste buds desire: veggies, meat, poultry, legumes, grains, or a mix of them all. The texture is super flexible too, ranging from smooth and creamy (think broccoli soup) to chunky and hearty (mmm, chicken noodle soup). Unlike bisque, soups usually use a clear broth or stock as their liquid base, but you'll find some creamy versions too.
So, to recap, the main thing setting bisque and soup apart is the starring ingredients and the level of creaminess. Bisques are the smooth, fancy cousins, usually spotlighting shellfish or veggies with that luxurious creaminess. On the other hand, soups are the versatile superheroes of the food world, offering a huge variety of flavors, textures, and ingredients to suit every mood and craving!
While I can’t speak for all pumpkin soup recipes, I can attest that this vegan pumpkin bisque does great in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Fall-Time Recipes
And there you have it, my fellow dairy-free food adventurers! My Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup, a delightful ode to the flavors of fall, awaits you. Embrace the cozy comforts of fall with each velvety spoonful, knowing that it's not only irresistibly creamy but also a breeze to make with just 11 simple ingredients. Don't forget to get creative with the fun variations and serving suggestions to make it truly your own!
I'd love to hear about your pumpkin soup experience, so don't be shy—share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below. Rate this recipe and let me know how it warmed your heart and delighted your senses. Happy cooking, and may your days be filled with pumpkin-scented joy!
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup
- Chop the onion and scallions. If you're not using an immersion blender, chop them as finely as possible.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot on medium heat. Sautée the onions and scallions with salt and pepper for about 7 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the thyme and sage, and sautée for a minute. Pour in the pumpkin purée, vegetable broth, and garlic powder, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- If you have an immersion blender, use it right in the pot to purée the pumpkin soup until it's smooth. If you're using a regular blender, let the soup cool slightly before pouring it in and blending it until smooth, working in batches as needed. Taste for seasoning, adjust, and serve!