Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This warming, nourishing pumpkin soup is the perfect thing to warm you up on a chilly day. This soup recipe is an Elimination Diet recipe for Phase 2. It is free of nuts, citrus, tomatoes, dairy, and peppers ~ all ingredients commonly found in creamed soups.

I like to add a swirl of coconut milk to each bowl and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup or dark agave nectar. Each batch of soup will be different and vary in sweetness depending on your pumpkin. I use sugar pie pumpkins which actually are not as sweet as many other winter squashes. We harvested over 100 pounds of winter squash this past fall and have them in boxes in our garage. If you can not find a sugar pie pumpkin at this time of year, try butternut squash.

To bake a pumpkin, first cut it in half with a large, sharp knife. Scoop out the seeds (save them to roast) and place pumpkin halves flesh-side down into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the pan and bake uncovered in a 350 to 400 degree oven for 45 to 90 minutes depending on the size of your pumpkin. Test for doneness by pricking it with a fork. If the fork easily slides in it is done. Scoop out the cooked flesh to use for this soup. I used two pie pumpkins to get 8 cups cooked flesh. My photo below depicts half of an uncooked sugar pie pumpkin and a 4-cup measure full of cooked pumpkin flesh.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This recipe was inspired from something my sister-in-law made while we were visiting over Christmas. I didn't have her original recipe so improvised based on memory. She added cooked white beans to the finished soup which gave it a delicious heartiness. If you are not following the Elimination Diet then you could add any type of cooked beans to the soup. This recipe makes a large batch of soup. You could easily cut the recipe in half or make the whole batch and freeze part in small containers for a ready-to-go meal. Enjoy!

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
4 to 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 celery stalks, chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
10 cups water or homemade chicken stock*
8 cups cooked sugar pie pumpkin flesh
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
2 to 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 to 4 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
coconut milk and cilantro, for garnish

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in an 8-quart stockpot. Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes. Then add ginger, carrots, celery, and apples; saute 5 to 10 minutes more.

Add the water, cooked pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, covered.

Puree soup in batches. I like to have another 8-quart pot ready to go that I can pour the pureed soup into as I go. Serve with a swirl of coconut milk.

*Notes: Avoid using prepackaged vegetable broth while you are on the elimination diet. These often contain "natural flavors" and we don't know where those come from.

Other Phase 2 Elimination Diet Recipes:
Summer Vegetable Kitcheree
Healing Quinoa Cabbage Soup
Nori Rolls with a Ginger Plum Sauce

More Elimination Diet Recipes from Other Bloggers:

Warming Adzuki Vegetable Stew from Kim at Affairs of Living
Soup for the Soul from Iris at The Daily Diet Tribe

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. I had my first pumpkin soup over Thanksgiving. A Bobby Flay recipe. Yours looks good. Now that I know I actually like pumpkin soup, I'll give it a try. Looks like it would warm me up on these cold days here.

  2. We cut up apples today and dipped them in a mix of sunflower seed butter, Agave and cinammon for dessert. My daughter discovered that she loves sunflower seed butter which is so much better for her than peanut butter! Still munching through the sunflower seed burgers, the recipe did enough to do me for a few days! Wendy

  3. Oh yum. I love pumpkin soup! Can't wait to make this when I'm in phase 1.

  4. That looks wonderful, Ali. I always love that little swirl on top. Making it with coconut milk for dairy free is a nice tip. WOW on the 100 lbs of winter squash You constantly amaze me! No pie pumpkins around here any more. I froze some but probably only a total of 8 cups. I think I'll save mine to make 4 pies instead. ;-) So, thanks for the butternut squash suggestion. I've been eating soup for days now ... it's the most appealing of all foods with this cold weather.


  5. I made a great soup yesterday that is in the current issue of Yoga Journal. It's called Green Soup with Sweet Potatoes and it is delish! It meets all the Phase 1 elimination diet guidelines if you leave out the fresh lemon juice at the end. I don't know about copyright laws. Is it okay to copy the recipe here? Let me know - otherwise - pick up the February issue of Yoga Journal and check it out!

  6. Hi Ali,
    I'm going to have to try this soup - it sounds fabulous. I found a few yummy winter squash soups on-line (that I made with one large Galeaux d'Eysines pumpkin)that would be great for Phase I as well.

    This one is a squash and apple soup from Ina Garten (I substituted olive oil for any butter called for)

    This is the second one from Foodland Ontario - This recipe needs quite a bit of substitution though, but it's well worth it. Here are the substitutions (followed by the recipe): I substituted pumpkin seeds for the pine nut/walnut garnish, and adzuki beans for the corn. I eliminated the tomato and cheese garnish and skipped the red pepper flakes. So the only garnishes were avocado, cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seeds. This soup is also fabulous with wild rice added to it.

    I'm going to make your recipe this weekend!

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments, meal ideas, and links. I will check out the current Yoga Journal, thanks Veronica! :)

  8. Thanks for the callout, Ali! I hope you liked the soup : ) your pumpkin soup looks splendid!
    xoxo Kim || www.affairsofliving.com

  9. I am on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (for more information, see my blog), so I cannot have any syrups. Would honey be a possible substitute for the maple syrup?

  10. I made this tonight and loved it! My 6 yr old daughter and I are on the elimination diet and it's nice to find some new recipes. Thanks!

  11. I just made this soup and it was fantastic! I did not add maple syrup and I switched the apples for pears and it turned out quite tasty. This was the perfect meal for coming off a two day fast! :)

  12. I made this recipe without the oil (water cooked the onions) see <\a>http://lechateausoleil.blogspot.com/2010/02/cooking-basics-pan-frying.html<\a> for explanation. And I feel that it does not need the agave nectar if you're using the granny smiths. Plenty of sugar in those.

    DELICIOUS! I added cooked chickpeas at the end too, they've got a nice nutty hearty flavor instead of the white beans.

    Thanks for this one!

  13. Love this recipe! I'm including it in my Thanksgiving roundup.

  14. I recently made this recipe with yams instead of pumpkin. I omitted the maple syrup/ agave nectar. And I added a cup or two of cooked/drained white runner cannellini beans (from Rancho Gordo). Also, I used homemade chicken stock.

    it turned out fabulous. Thanks for such a delicious recipe. I really like the addition of the beans - thanks for that suggestion too!

  15. Wonderful recipe! I hate ginger so I left it out and it tasted great. :)

  16. Hi Ali,
    The Pumpkin Spice Soup in your new cookbook calls for 2-3 cups of white beans in the ingredients list, but then does not mention when to add them. ... And this recipe, which appears to be the same as the book, does not call for beans at all. Was this a typo? I was thinking beans and pumpkin sounded pretty good. :) Thanks! ~Andrea

  17. Andrea- Yes the beans are supposed to be in the recipe. You'll notice in the headnotes here on this post that I mention it. We love the addition white beans make to this recipe. You just add them when you add the pumpkin puree. Thanks! :)

  18. I'm on day 3 of the elimination diet and made this for dinner tonight (without the beans) -- delicious! I didn't have veggie stock ready so I added an extra carrot and celery stalk.

  19. I wanted to make this soup heartier but since I'm still on phase 1 of the Elimination Diet, beans are a no-go for me. Instead I added cooked brown rice at the very end after I pureed the soup. It turned out delicious and savory!

  20. Day 3. Made a version of this with acorn squash served over quinoa. Best soup ever!!

  21. I've made this twice with squash and it's been well received both times. I added more spice - a tsp of garam masala and 1/2 tsp of curry powder. I also added a full can of coconut milk when I pureed. I've made lots of pumpkin soups and this one is excellent.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)