Get ready to fall in love with this vegan pumpkin coconut soup recipe! It’s easy to make in either a slow cooker or on stovetop and can be easily adjusted to your taste preferences, especially heat. Make it spicy or mild, enjoy and even freeze some for later! This can quickly become one of your favorite meals, especially on a cold day.
Pumpkin soup doesn’t have to be boring; this recipe is anything but! With coconut milk adding a boost of satisfying plant-based fat, it’ll keep you full and satisfied for hours. Looking to make it into a meal?! Just add a source of plant-based protein and you’ll be amazed how filling this can be.
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Is Pumpkin Coconut Soup Vegan?
While pumpkin coconut soup certainly can be made vegan, many traditional recipes contain products that are not plant-based. Fortunately, it is easy to replace these ingredients, which often include chicken broth, butter, and cream.
The first and most simple change you can make to keep your soup vegan is to use vegetable broth. Vegetable broth is typically quite easy to find, although it’s up to you whether you want to use a salty or unsalted vegetable broth. I typically like to use a no-salt-added vegetable broth if possible so that I can add salt to taste at the end of the recipe.
Dairy products are also commonly used in pumpkin soup to provide creaminess and fats that enhance flavor. Since this is a pumpkin coconut soup, it’s easy to avoid these non-vegan ingredients by instead using a full-fat coconut milk. Coconut milk is full of flavor and using a full-fat version will produce the creamiest, tastiest soup ever.
Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Soup Ingredients
All the ingredients used to make this vegan pumpkin soup recipe are included for optimal flavor. They include:
- Pumpkin: Cubed pumpkin (or squash) cooks quickly and allows for easy blending. This is the star flavor of the recipe; while other ingredients shine through, the pumpkin is what’s most dominant.
- Onion: I use red onion which tends to have a bolder flavor, but you can use a white or yellow onion if that’s what you have on hand.
- Ginger: Grated ginger helps add a more Thai-inspired theme to this soup but is not overpowering. It’s a nice addition that you’ll be able to taste in every bite.
- Garlic: A favorite among my family and friends who’ve tried this recipe, a little garlic enhances the soup tremendously! The smell and added flavor really brings together other ingredients quite nicely.
- Chili flakes: While optional, I fully recommend adding chili flakes to taste. I’ve used anywhere from 1 teaspoon (somewhat spicy) to 1 tablespoon (very spicy) before. It always gives more character to the soup, just be careful how much you add since this amplifies the heat quite quickly. I’m a wimp with spice and don’t enjoy more than 1 tsp!
- Coconut milk: Time to add some creaminess and complimentary flavor to the pumpkin soup! A full-fat coconut milk can be used for optimal taste and consistency.
- Vegetable broth: To help all the other ingredients blend and boost the soup’s flavor, add some vegetable broth. You can opt for a no-salt-added broth and add salt at the end (if needed) or use regular broth for a saltier soup. The choice is yours!
- Vegan fish sauce: Do you have access to vegan fish sauce at your local grocery store? If so, add it in! I know that can be a challenging ingredient to find though, so if you’re like me and can’t find any then replicate the flavor by combining miso paste and soy sauce or tamari together.
- Lime juice: The citrus flavor really enhances this soup. Although subtle, it’s one ingredient you won’t want to forget.
- Brown sugar: Sugar added to the pre-cooked soup provides great sweetness which further improves the taste. There’s only a small amount in the entire batch of soup, so add it in and enjoy!
- Cilantro: Ready to serve but think this soup looks a little boring? If you want amazing tasting food but also want it to look spectacular, some finely chopped cilantro is the perfect choice. You can mix the cilantro into the full batch of soup if you’re a huge cilantro-lover like I am!
How to Make Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Let’s get cooking this well-balanced vegan pumpkin coconut soup! Just follow the steps below and you'll soon have one of the best soups I've ever eaten.
Step 1: Add Ingredients to Slow Cooker or Pot
There are several ingredients you’ll want to cook together until soft so they’re ready for blending. Start by cubing pumpkin or squash (frozen, pre-cubed pumpkin or squash can make this much faster and easier) then add in roughly chopped onion, minced or grated ginger, minced garlic, chili flakes, coconut milk, vegetable broth and vegan fish sauce.
Stir all these ingredients to ensure they’re well mixed, then proceed to cooking.
Step 2: Cook and Blend
If preparing the soup ingredients in a slow cooker, set to low heat and cook for 6 hours. If preparing in a pot on your stove, simmer the ingredients for about 30 minutes until the pumpkin cubes are soft and ready to blend.
When the ingredients have had time to soften and cook together, use an immersion blender within the pot (will leave some texture to the soup) or transfer to a stand blender and allow to blend until completely smooth.
Step 3: Stir in Brown Sugar and Lime Juice
When all the main soup ingredients are well blended, stir in the final two ingredients, brown sugar and lime juice. These will quickly and easily mix in without the blender, and don’t need to be cooked into the vegetables which is why they are added at the end.
Keeping the lime juice out until the ends preserves the fresh citrus flavor it provides!
Step 4: Garnish and Serve
With your delicious soup ready to serve, pour into bowls and garnish as you see fit. Some people may choose to finely chop some cilantro and add it to the top, while others may want more chili flakes or some other type of garnish. There’s lots of ways to serve this, so get creative!
If you garnish with something other than cilantro or chili flakes, let me know in the comments section below!
Easy Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Soup Variations
There are a lot of simple substitutions you can make to this recipe, either with ingredients or cooking methods. Feel free to do what works best for you and make this recipe your own!
- Mild vs. spicy pumpkin soup: One of the most important features of this soup is how spicy to make it. While you can make it mild (potentially without any added heat), you or others may love the added spice. I like to make this with about 1 teaspoon of chili flakes, but you could take it up to 1 tablespoon (3X as much) for a very spicy pumpkin soup.
- Slow cooker vs. stovetop: No slow cooker? In a rush? No problem. I designed this recipe for a slow cooker, but that doesn’t mean you have to use one to get a great tasting soup. Prepare it as you’re most comfortable with; it shouldn’t change the taste much one way or another.
- Pumpkin vs. squash: While I like the flavor of pumpkin soup more, I know there’s a lot of people that prefer butternut squash (or one of the many other types of squash). Some of the consideration may be what you have most readily available. Any type of pumpkin or squash (except spaghetti squash) should work well and provide enough volume to this soup.
- Appetizer vs. meal: This spicy pumpkin and coconut soup works best as an appetizer but can also certainly become a meal. The recipe creates enough soup for about 6 appetizer portions, but if you increase the size of your bowl it’ll create about 4 meal-size portions. If making this soup into a meal, consider adding some plant-based protein like stir-fry tofu for more balance!
How to Refrigerate and Freeze Pumpkin Soup
Since this vegan pumpkin soup recipe creates many servings, you may have some leftover that you’ll want to refrigerate or freeze. It’s great re-heated and I hope you get to enjoy many servings of it!
For refrigerating, just store in an airtight container and keep cold for up to a week. If it’ll sit for longer than a week before you finish it, consider placing your airtight container in the freezer where it’ll stay good for up to 4 months!
If you make this recipe, please rate and comment below to help others benefit from your experience!
Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Soup
- 8 cups pumpkin , cubed (or butternut squash)
- 1 medium red onion , roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger , minced or grated (fresh)
- 3 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional, if you like spicy soup)
- 1 ¾ cups coconut milk (14 oz/ 400 mL can)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (OR 1 teaspoon miso paste plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup cilantro , chopped (to serve)
For Slow Cooker
- Place pumpkin, onion, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and vegan fish sauce into the pot and cook on low heat for 6 hours.8 cups pumpkin, 1 medium red onion, 2 tablespoons ginger, 1 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 ¾ cups coconut milk, 3 cups vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce, 3 cloves garlic
- Blend the soup then stir in lime juice and brown sugar. You can use an immersion blender or a standing blender.1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Serve with cilantro.½ cup cilantro
- Place pumpkin, onion, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and vegan fish sauce into a large pot over medium-high heat.8 cups pumpkin, 1 medium red onion, 2 tablespoons ginger, 3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 ¾ cups coconut milk, 3 cups vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce
- Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer.
- Cook with the lid on for 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft.
- Stir in coconut milk then blend the soup (using immersion blender or standing blender).1 ¾ cups coconut milk
- Stir in lime juice and brown sugar.1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Serve with chopped cilantro.½ cup cilantro
More Vegan Soup Recipes
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About Nicole Stevens
Nicole is a vegan Registered Dietitian (RD) and founder of Lettuce Veg Out.
She helps people thrive on a vegan diet with balanced recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition science.