Take a break from pumpkin pie with this savory, creamy and a little spicy Pumpkin Curry Soup! Easily swap Kabocha squash for a baking pumpkin to stay true to the inspiration behind this dish – Thai pumpkin curry.
Pumpkin + Curry = A great combination
This dish was inspired by one of my favorite Thai dishes, Pumpkin Curry, which uses a Kabocha Squash in a smooth and spicy curry. Here, I’ve borrowed the flavor profile and used a Baking Pumpkin instead, small and readily available this time of year. However, you can easily make this recipe with Kabocha too!
I love Crock Pot soups, and this is one of them! The only prep required is dicing the vegetables and roasting the pumpkin. Bonus: if you’re short on time, you can make this recipe using the pressure cooker feature in your Instant Pot!
If it’s high time in pumpkin season you may have a lot of extra pumpkin laying around. What you can’t use in this pumpkin curry soup, use in my other recipes in this post about what to do with your leftover pumpkin.
Slow Cook or Pressure Cook
Choose your own adventure! This recipe includes instructions for slow cooking in a Crock Pot or Instant Pot, or pressure cooking in the Instant Pot.
I prefer pressure cooking, since it’s a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. While the soup is cooking I can prep the rest of dinner, blend the soup up and bam! Dinner is served.
Pureed Soups — Color Matters
Feel free to adapt as needed, replacing vegetables with your favorite. One thing I have learned making pureed soups over the years, (more often than not without a recipe) — choose vegetables with a similar color palette. Here, I used orange, red and white vegetables. The result was a beautiful bright orange soup that was appealing to the eye and the stomach.
A quick cautionary tale: In past attempts, I’ve combined green vegetables (like kale and spinach) in with carrots, peppers, other bright orange and red toned vegetables. This, as color theory teaches, results in an extremely unappetizing brown color. The soup may taste good, but you’ll have to trick your eyes when you eat it. My advice: choose a color palette — either orange & red or greens — and stick to it!
How to make Sweet Potato Pumpkin Curry Soup
This recipe calls for pre-roasting the pumpkin. Now, if you simply peel and dice the pumpkin (removing seeds), you can throw it in the slow cooker with the other ingredients and cook as directed. However, if you have the time I strongly suggest roasting the pumpkin first. Watch the video below to see how this Pumpkin Curry Soup comes together!
Why roast? Roasting the pumpkin in the oven brings out more flavor, caramelizing the sugars in the pumpkin and providing a deeper flavor profile. It’s a simple way to add depth of flavor to your soup without too much extra effort.
To take this entire recipe to the next level, you could also roast the onion, bell peppers and sweet potato before adding it all to the crockpot. Again, customize it depending on how much time you’d like to spend on the recipe.
Choosing the Right Curry Paste
Curry paste varies widely. In this recipe I’m using a Yellow curry paste, typically the milder of the Red and Green curry pastes. Some premade curry pastes contain gluten, added sugar or fish products, such as fish sauce or shrimp paste, so be sure to inspect the label when making your purchase! For this recipe I used Mekhala Organic Yellow Curry Paste, which contains no shrimp, fish, gluten or added sugars.
The primary ingredients in this Yellow Curry Paste are shallots, garlic, lime juice, galangal root, salt, and other spices. If you’re feeling ambitious you can use this recipe to make your own.
- Slow cooker (Crockpot or Instant Pot)
- 1 small baking pumpkin or Kabocha squash
- 1 large sweet potato (or 2 small), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced and deseeded
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 TB Thai red or yellow curry paste or 2 TB if you like spice.
- 1 inch ginger root, peeled and diced
- ½ tsp ground dried turmeric
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper optional – for added spice
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 3½ cups vegetable broth
Roast the Pumpkin (Optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Carefully poke a few holes in the flesh using a sharp knife.
- Roast for 20 minutes on a covered baking sheet
- Remove from oven and let cool until its safe to handle. Slice down the middle (this should be much easier now that it's cooked), scoop out seeds and return to oven for 20 minutes, flesh side up.
- Remove from oven, let cool. Remove skin with a peeler and cut pumpkin/squash into chunks. Set aside.
Make the Soup
- Add the squash/pumpkin, onion, peppers, garlic, ginger and sweet potato to the crockpot with the pumpkin. Stir in coconut milk and vegetable broth. Add in curry paste and all seasonings.
- Slow Cooker Method: Cook in the slow cooker on HIGH for 4 hours.Pressure Cooker Method: In your Instant Pot, hit Broth/Soup, ensuring the pressure cook setting is HIGH. Adjust the time to 20 minutes. Set the valve to "Sealing"Once done cooking, carefully release the valve, "Venting" until the pin drops and it's safe to open the Instant Pot. Alternatively, you can wait until the pin drops naturally.
- Puree using an immersion blender until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular large blender.
- Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of good olive oil, pomegranate seeds and some fresh cracked pepper.
- While the soup will pressure cook in the Instant Pot for only 20 min, it does take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build. Be sure to factor that in to dinner time!