This easy Instant Pot recipe features fresh roasted pumpkin, fresh carrots, fresh ginger and so much more bring out a cornucopia of flavors in a silky smooth, warm and comforting soup. We let the pumpkin be the star of this recipe without any added heavy cream or overwhelming “pumpkin spice” flavors.
We use just enough seasonings and flavors to make this soup a hearty, satisfying dish that is perfect to enjoy on those cool autumn days, but is also delicious year round.
What is Pumpkin Soup?
Pumpkins are a variety of squash in the “winter squash” family. Other popular winter squashes include butternut squash and acorn squash. You’re probably most familiar with pumpkins being used for culinary purposes in pumpkin pie, which is a delicious dessert we all know and love. But those same pumpkins that are used in pies, can also be used to make a delicious soup! Pumpkin soup is a creamy soup that is savory with just a hint of sweetness. The soup gets an extra boost of goodness from fresh carrots and some grated ginger will really bring out all the flavors to shine.
What Kind of Pumpkin to Use?
Pumpkins used for soup are the same pumpkins use for pie, and they’re called, you guessed it – Pie Pumpkins. Not as big as the larger carving pumpkins, pie pumpkins are usually 2-5 lbs. and very round in shape. They’ll be clearly marked as pie pumpkins at your supermarket.
You don’t want to use carving pumpkins or ornamental pumpkins for pumpkin soup. Though technically edible, they’re not good eats.
The rest of our soup ingredients are some pretty basic items:
- Chicken broth
- Onions, carrots, celery, garlic (this make our soup base called a Mirepoix)
- Thyme, nutmeg and ginger (in just the right amounts to extenuate the flavor of the pumpkin)
- Butter and olive oil
Roasting the Pumpkin First
While we’ll use our Instant Pot to bring this wonderful soup all together, we’ll start the process in our oven by roasting the pumpkins. Roasting the pumpkin in the dry heat of the oven brings the natural sweetness of the pumpkin flesh to life.
Roasting the pumpkin is actually very easy. Start by cutting the top/stem off, the use a good sharp knife to slice the pumpkin in half vertically. Next we want to scoop out all the seeds and stringy insides. Ya know, just like you’d remove from a carving pumpkin. Go ahead and save those seeds to roast as well.
With the two halves scooped out, brush with olive oil and add a pinch of dried thyme to each piece. All this is really adding to the flavor profile!
Place the pumpkins face down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a 350°(F) oven for about 45 minutes. The outer skin will become very soft when done. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before using a spoon or ice cream scoop to scoop all the roasted, delicious flesh from the skin. Place it in a bowl or plate and set aside.
Time For Instant Pot Magic
I love the Instant Pot for so many reasons, and the biggest reason might be for making soup. And for this recipe, it’s perfect for sauteing our veggies, and then pressure cooking all the wonderful flavors together.
We start by adding some butter to the inner pot and using the sauté mode. Once hot, add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the onions start to become translucent. Add the garlic last and sauté for 1 more minute. We do the garlic last because it can burn easily is sauteed too long.
After we’ve sauteed all of our delicious vegetables (which is called a Mirepoix), it’s time to add the roasted pumpkin, broth, ginger and nutmeg and give it all a 15 minute pressure cook.
Blend to Silky Smoothness
When the pressure cooking cycle is complete, to a quick release of the pressure and remove the lid. Now we have a couple of choices… use an immersion blender or a regular blender. The immersion blender is my method of choice for a number of reasons – everything stays right in the pot, it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s less mess. Imply place the immersion blender into the Instant Pot and blend everything smooth. It will take maybe 3-4 minutes.
The other method to blend the soup us by using a traditional blender. To do this, you’ll have to let the soup cool. You do NOT want to add the piping hot soup to a blender. Wait for it to cool to luke warm and blend in batches.
Ready to Serve
So what’s the best toppings for pumpkin soup? Roasted pumpkin seeds, or pepitas are an excellent topping. I especially love the ones you can get that are already removed from the shells, roasted and salted. They add the perfect crunch to the soup. Also, feel free to add some some classic spices such as cinnamon, allspice or additional nutmeg. If you have a chance to use fresh grated nutmeg, you won’t be disappointed!
Storage and Reheating
You can store the pumpkin soup (cooled down) in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. I love to freeze the soup in individual sized, freezer safe plastic containers to reheat whenever I get the taste for this awesome soup. To reheat, simple microwave until heated through if frozen. If refrigerated, either microwave or place the soup in a pot and simmer over low heat until heated through. Add a little water if soup thickens too much.Print