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!

pumpkin leek soup with macaron and festive decoration

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.

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.

chopped pumpkin and leeks sweating in a pan

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!

leeks pumpkin and ginger

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, to these passion fruit panna cottas and to this moist passion fruit and chocolate cake.

leek pumpkin soup with mini macarons

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.

3 different sized white French lion bowls of soup with one of macarons

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.

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.

bowl of pumpkin soup being held with gloves in the autumn leaves

pumpkin leek soup with macaron and festive decoration
5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Ginger Soup with Leeks

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course : Appetizer, Soup, Starter, Light Lunch
Cuisine : French
Keyword : spicy pumpkin soup, healthy pumpkin leek soup
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 155kcal


A spicy, warming pumpkin soup with the added health benefits of leeks and ginger, made in only 35 minutes. Serve with fried sage leaves for a festive touch 


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium leeks sliced
  • 900 g (2lb) pumpkin peeled & chopped*
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root grated (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 850 ml (1.5 pints) 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.


* if using Japanese chestnut pumpkin or red kuri squash (potimarron), roast whole in the oven for about 20 minutes to make it easier to cut into chunks. No need to discard the skin as this variety of squash is edible.
To Serve: top with some fresh herbs (parsley, coriander or sage leaves). For a festive touch, add a couple of fresh cranberries or pink peppercorns (N.B. pink peppercorns are to be avoided if you have a nut allergy).
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 re-written with new images and a printable recipe card.

From the market

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Comments (49)

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!

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