Pumpkin Curry Soup

There’s one real remedy to winter in Wisconsin: hot soup.

by John D. Ivanko
PHOTO: John D. Ivanko/farmsteadchef.com

There’s one real remedy to winter in Wisconsin: hot soup. It’s a good thing, especially this year, because our temperatures are regularly dropping below zero—not including wind chill. The garden gifted us with a bumper crop of pumpkins this past fall, so we entered the new year stocked with soup supplies. Below is our favorite new recipe of the soup season: Pumpkin Curry Soup.

Keep in mind a couple tips when cooking up Pumpkin Curry Soup:

  • We like to use the elongated New England Pie and Long Pie pumpkin varietals for their dense, rich pumpkin flavor. Any cooking pumpkin varietal will work, and you could even substitute a hard winter squash like butternut.
  • Make your own pumpkin purée. We make ours in the slow cooker. Pumpkin purée freezes wonderfully. We freeze it in 2-cup proportions in quart-sized freezer bags so we always have some on hand for easy soup (or for when a sweet craving kicks in). If you don’t have a fresh pumpkin on hand, you can use a 15 ounces canned purée, the equivalent of 2 cups fresh purée.
  • Make a double or triple batch and freeze it. Big-batch cooking works exceptionally well if you’re puréeing a lot of pumpkins at once. Freeze the soup purée before adding the coconut milk. Defrost and then add the milk; the milk tends to not freeze well.
  • The coconut milk adds a nice, subtle coconut flavor. We like to stock up on cans of coconut milk when we’re in the city and have access to an international or Asian grocery store where, coconut milk tends to be much less expensive. Don’t use “cream of coconut,” which has sugar and other sweeteners and thickeners added. Save that for the pina coladas! If you don’t have coconut milk, you can substitute evaporated milk.
  • While this soup tastes great on it’s own, we’ll often dress it up a little for a heartier meal. Try adding in some cooked wild rice or sprinkle croutons on top. (Check out our make-your-own-crouton recipe in our Farmstead Chef cookbook.) Cooked cut-up potatoes or chicken would also round out a nice meal. Play around with adding more curry for stronger flavor (and sinus clearing).

Check back next week for the perfect accompaniment to soup: make-your-own bread bowls.

Recipe: Pumpkin Curry Soup

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 small leek, cleaned and chopped (or one medium onion, chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tsp. curry powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée (or one 15-ounce can purée)
  • 1 13.5-fluid-ounce can coconut milk


In stockpot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add chopped leeks and garlic, and sauté until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add more butter or dash of water if needed to keep leeks from browning and burning.

Increase heat to medium-high. Stir in curry and salt, and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in chicken broth and pumpkin purée. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

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Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk. Serve immediately.

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