Easy pumpkin soup recipe with the added healthy benefits of leeks and ginger, made in only 35 minutes. Serve with fried sage leaves for a festive touch and mini curry macarons from my first book just adds that bit of delicious fun!
What are the Health Benefits of Eating Leeks?
It gets pretty cold mid-Autumn around Paris and so when I heard a French doctor on TF1 radio tell us how best to stay healthy and keep colds at bay, it was music to my cold little ears.
Moreover, his tip was also useful for those of us who perhaps over-indulge in rich, festive foods. His suggestion? Eat plenty of leeks. Apparently they help to clean out the gut. Trust the French to sound so poetic. So, as soon as it gets cold, I load up on fresh leeks (poireaux) at the market and use them in recipes like this one.
Now that we’re stocked up on leeks, are you ready for a tasty clean-out? Then this is the ideal soup to precede and follow the holiday’s festive meals.
What Part of Pumpkin is Used for Soup?
I normally use regular pumpkin (bought in slices) from the market for this soup. Use the flesh only of regular pumpkin without the skin.
If you like a more intense pumpkin flavour, it’s also great with red kuri squash, known as potimarron (Japanese chestnut pumpkin) in France. I love it so much, I even made delicious spiced potimarron macarons with it! The beauty of using Japanese chestnut pumpkin is that the skin is edible.
Roasted Pumpkin Ginger Soup
As it’s difficult to cut through the pumpkin raw, I’d recommend roasting the whole pumpkin in the oven for 20 minutes first. This makes it easier to cut into chunks. It perhaps takes a bit longer to prepare but that way, you can call it roasted pumpkin soup!
Can you Eat Ginger in Soup?
Ginger is fabulous added to pumpkin soup. It gives a great spicy kick to bring us back on top form and it’s particularly good for digestion. Moreover, ginger helps keep colds at bay and is good for virility. Oh-là là !
I use a good tablespoon of grated root ginger which is the best for this soup. However, ground ginger can also be used if you can’t find it.
Incidentally, I love adding ginger to chocolate macarons (recipes in my books), chocolate fondant cake, rhubarb compote and to this moist passion fruit and chocolate cake.
Is Pumpkin Soup Fattening?
This recipe is particularly healthy. For a bowl, it counts in at just 155 calories.
Not only is it not fattening, but pumpkin soup is so healthy. It’s full of iron, zinc, fibre and carotene (see more on the market pumpkin page). Carotene is what we all need at this time of year to bring the glow back to our cheeks.
Alternatively, if you’re not following a particular calorie-counted or vegan diet, swirl in some cream just before serving. Plus, if not following a vegetarian diet, sprinkle on smoked crispy bacon as a delicious garnish.
To keep this a vegan recipe, however, for a festive look add some fresh herbs (parsley, coriander or sage leaves) to look like holly and add a couple of fresh cranberries or pink peppercorns.
Although ATTENTION! Pink Peppercorns should be strictly avoided if you suffer from nut allergies. Read more about why pink peppercorns should be avoided if you’re allergic to nuts from my friend, Christina Conte.
Take Pumpkin Soup to the Next Level: Garnish with Macarons
What? Macarons with soup? Intrigued faces are guaranteed at the table! I love taking guests by surprise with savoury macarons as a mini pre-starter or Amuse-bouche. Serve with a couple of mini curry tikka mac’sala macarons (See page 100 of my book, Mad About Macarons) The flavours together are a delicious adventure.
See more in my article on what to serve with savoury macarons.
Pumpkin Soup with Chestnuts
For a naturally creamy touch without adding any cream, toss in a few pre-cooked chestnuts in with the stock and the result is extra thick with a wonderful taste of Autumn.
Pumpkin Ginger Soup with Leeks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 medium leeks sliced
- 900 g (2lb) pumpkin peeled & chopped* (or one small potimarron chestnut pumpkin)
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger root grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 850 ml (1.5 pints/ 3 cups) vegetable stock
- good pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot then soften the leeks and pumpkin together. Sweat gently for about 5 minutes then add the ginger. Sweat a couple of minutes more.
- Add the stock (just enough to cover the vegetables), cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Blend with a hand mixer, add the nutmeg and season with fleur de sel salt and a few grinds of the peppermill to taste.
Also delicious with mini curry macarons (recipe in my book, Mad About Macarons).
This post was originally published 4 January 2012 but has been completely updated with new images, more explanatory text and a printable recipe card.
I love ginger but haven’t thought about marrying it with pumpkin. Love the ideas for garnish.
I thoroughly recommend trying it. They are so good together!
A hug in a bowl. Definitely recommend this one.
I have this feeling we’ll be making a lot of this while you’re here!
Can i substitute ginger liqueur for real ginger? I’ve been cooking with Domaine de Canton and its been a really solid spirit for the dishes I’ve tried it in.
That sounds wicked, Sara! Why not? Makes the soup even more adult with a wee kick to it! For ginger liqueur, I also use Crabbies Green Ginger wine which can also pack a punch. You’ve just given me an idea for a sauce tonight for some Scottish Salmon! Enjoy.
Thank you for sharing. I have been searching for natural ways of cleansing with food. Glad I stumbled onto your recipe, I am off to buy some leeks! 🙂
Wow this looks amazing Jill!! Love your photos, as always, and your recipe sounds so delicious 🙂 Perfect for the winter months!
this sounds SO delicious!
I shall hunt up some leeks today and the pumpkin of course.
Perfect wintery soup
What a surprise to hear about all these leek’s benefits! The soup looks fantastic and I love the addition of strong flavours such as leek or ginger to the bland pumpkin (sorry, I’m not a pumpkin fan and the only pumpkin soups I have ever liked were with ginger, which gives a very welcome kick).
I have just started to wonder what healthy dishes I should eat to change from holiday indulgences and here comes Galette des rois… I suppose I will have to wait another weekend 😉
Happy New Year, Jill!
I love all types of soup, but I’ve never made it with pumpkin. I have some pumpkin in the freezer, now, I’ll just have to get some leeks:)
Congrats on the Top 9 today!
As for the 80’s I had big hair, shoulder pads, and jumpsuits. so glad that era is gone!
Thanks, Becky – and thank you all of you for such lovely comments. Didn’t expect this simple soup to leek out like this…
Apologies for not replying to all your sweet comments but with ze party tomorrow I’m running around preparing – and not just in ze kitchen; finally found a jumpsuit, a big hair wig and it looks mighty awful but we’re going to have fun… will catch up with you soon! J xo
You are right French are’ particular’ to say at least , i am one of them,
Congratulations, I will try this healthy soup, love leeks and ginger..:)
Gorgeous recipe! Congrats on Top 9.
Wow! What a beautiful soup! And the flavors look fantastic, I’m a huge fan of pumpkin in general. Congrats on the Top 9!
Really? Leeks do that? Great! Unknowingly I’ve been having leeks lately included in some pies I’d made as well. Still have some left, now I know what to make 😀 Love leeks and potato soup and pumpkin soup but never together and with ginger even! Will definitely try this out with the last of my leeks.
And congrats on getting Top 9! xxoo
Hooray for the Top 9 today AND this delicious soup!!!! YUM!
I love the idea of pairing a savory soup with sweet cookies. The flavor combination of pumpkin with ginger and leeks also sounds like a great combination to celebrate the winding down of squash season!
The soup looks absolutely amazing! I’m glad you had fun in Scotland….
Happy New Year Jill! I love leek soup but never tried with pumpkin and ginger. I need to try this someday soon. It looks delicious – and ginger makes us warm. You are so creative about “curry” macarons!!!!
Oh wow! What an incredible combination! I made some pumpkin soup a few months ago and my family went crazy over it! 🙂
You’re in Scotland! How nice it must be to be back home 🙂 I have missed you and your blog SO much and am so glad I finally have the time to sit down to it 🙂 Can’t wait to browse thru all the recipes I’ve missed! This post is awesome… I am a pushover for a bowl of warm soup… I could eat soup for lunch & dinner… and pumpkins one of my favorite vegetables! Thanks for this recipe 🙂
I was too young in the 80s to remember the fashion, but I do remember this candy we used to get called “bonkers” which were slightly sour banana-strawberry chews… I used eat a LOT of those! Would that work in a macaron? What do I know! Hugs 🙂 Have a wonderful 2012!
Marsha! Happy New Year to you and great to hear from you. Of course you’re too young to know the 80s 😉
Hi Jill, Arbroath Smokie Pâté sounds fabulous, as does your wonderful, healthy soup. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your savoury macarons. They are so original and always gorgeous flavours.
Happy ‘Reyes Magos’
Happy New Year! I loved King’s Cake when studying abroad in Paris. I never got the crown though. 🙁 Enjoy a few slices for me.
The flavors in this soup are superb! I love pumpkin and ginger so I will definitely add in the leek next time. Thanks for sharing this!
Oh wow, what a great combo! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can’t wait to try it myself.
Love, love, love this combination of flavors in a soup, the color is so pretty and it’s healthy too, what could be more satisfying! Thanks for sharing your recipe;-)
An another amazing combination of foods Jill! I love how you have been pairing savory dishes with sweet macaroons! They all sound amazing, and I am especially loving the curry in this one :)! Hope you are having a great first week of the year!
The “new” soup and sandwich is now soup and macs. Love these soup flavors and the pairing with those curry macs.
I had not heard this about leeks before, and I do love them! As I do this delightful soup 🙂
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! Just eaten leek soup today spiced up with cayenne but I shall try Ginger too. Breathing in new baby smell is very dangerous watch out for hormones:-) Of course it depends which end….
No problem on that one, Pauline. French family keep asking when I’m going to have my boy in the end. The answer is I already have Antoine – he’s so adorable and always my baby 😉
I really have to get your macaron book because the idea of these curry macs is amazing! And the soup is really just what we need and a great change from my usual sweeter version of pumpkin soup. Happy New Year! Très Bonne Année!
Très bonne année de santé for you, too, Jamie. I’m still in awe of your Cognac tasting and dying to try out Cognac recipes one of these days…
What a gorgeous soup! Eat more leeks, huh? I can make that happen 🙂
It’s a great excuse to eat them, isn’t it? Ever since doc recommended, it’s better than any medicine.
This looks amazingly fragrant with the ginger 🙂 I haven’t had leeks with pumpkins yet, very enticing!
It’s so ridiculously simple yet worth trying. Made another version of it last week for a cousin baby. She lapped it up – admittedly the ginger was replaced by smoked bacon. Another interesting combo.
Lovely soup, Jill…and who wouldn’t want all those beneficial effects????
I’d do one wacky, themed mac and the rest classic. As far as the 80’s, I remember the BIG hair we all strived for in the early part of the decade. Nothing sticks out fashion-wise…I think I was pretty preppy back then 🙂
Wow, Liz. I completely forgot the big hairdos! You’re brilliant and great idea on ze macs. You preppy, eh? Hehee.
You are so creative Jill! I love this combination of flavors, and MINI CURRY MACARONS??? Fantastic!
Thanks for this – you’ve just given me a brain-wave. I need to simply make curry macs for the party at the weekend. The 80s in the UK? There was some serious curries going on: Mum and Dad had discovered Vesta packet mixes… Lordy lord.
Oh Jill, I love everything about this soup and you put it so well together! Recipe is must try! Thanks for sharing and you too have a very Healthy, Happy and Successful 2012!!!
Merci, Sandra. Loved your year’s round-up. Cheers to another successful year on your blog.
Glad you enjoyed your stay in Scotland, marvelous scenic place!
Good tip on the benefits of leeks. While the soup may be healthy, it is not at all lacking in flavor or texture. I would love to have a bowl-naughty garnishes or not!
Have fun at the weekend party.
Thanks, Tina. Yes, Scotland is the most scenic and the best place in the world if it wasn’t for the rain/drizzle!
I don’t know what I’ve let myself in for this weekend. I best get cooking now…
I love leeks. Very, very much. Not a fan of frangipane though. Almond in general does nothing for me. Soup, however. Soup warms my soul, my toes and my fingers. It’s a necessity at our house. This looks fantastic, especially with the thought of a little crumbled bacon over everything. I need to get me some pumpkin!
You mean to say you’ve said you don’t like almonds on a macaron website? 😉 I’m a sucker for all marzipan, frangipan, anything i-pan in fact…
Like you, I’m mad about soups, though. I live on it most of the week!