This creamy golden pumpkin soup with ginger, turmeric and coconut is deliciously nourishing. The warming ginger, turmeric and chilli flakes and sweet roasted pumpkin, carrots and onions create a beautiful balance between sweet and savoury, turning this soup into the ultimate nourishing hug in a bowl. Creamy coconut milk, sweet mandarin orange juice and fragrant kaffir lime leaves will take an ordinary pumpkin soup into the realm of extraordinary flavours.
This immune-boosting soup is easy to make and perfect for meal prepping. Serve it for dinner with some warm crusty bread or enjoy it as a nourishing lunch to keep you going the rest of the day.
Warming Immune Boosting Soup
This healthy pumpkin soup with ginger, turmeric, coconut cream and kaffir lime leaves will keep you going strong all through the cold autumn and winter months. It’s full of immune-boosting ingredients and perfect for meal prep!
When the weather starts to get colder I always look forward to soup season. Is there anything more comforting than a steaming hot bowl of soup? This veggie soup is packed with healthy nutrients and full of flavour to nourish your body and mind.
Turmeric is what gives this soup a gorgeous golden glow. It is often combined with ginger to create an immune-boosting powerhouse couple. Turmeric is related to ginger but when cut open you’ll see a very vivid yellow-orange colour inside. Curcumin is what causes this colour and what gives this root its health benefits. Avoid getting it on your clothing because it will stain! Turmeric has an earthy, slightly bitter taste.
Turmeric is known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps protect our bodies from free radicals and studies show that it might even improve brain function. Check out this article about all the health benefits turmeric has to offer. In this soup, I’ve used the ground-up powder version because it’s more easily available, but you could definitely use fresh turmeric as well.
Ginger has a fresh, zingy flavour with a warming spicy kick. Its health benefits are very similar to those of turmeric; it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory and has strong antioxidant effects. Gingerol is what gives ginger its health-boosting properties. Ginger also helps with digestion issues and nausea. More information about the health benefits of ginger can be found in this article.
Kaffir Lime leaves are what gives many south-east Asian dishes their unique flavour. These leaves are very fragrant and aromatic. They add an intense citrus aroma without a sour flavour. They are very powerful, so just one or two leaves are enough to transform a dish. It’s hard to find fresh leaves outside of Asian countries, but dried or frozen varieties are a bit easier to find. I always have a bag of frozen kaffir lime leaves in my freezer. It’s a powerhouse ingredient to add that distinct citrusy aroma to soups, stews, curries or even simply just add to some rice while cooking. I can imagine this is also a great aromatic to add to a Gin & Tonic!
Organic flavourful broth is what adds a savoury umami flavour to this soup. Use a good quality chicken broth or go for a vegetable broth to keep this soup 100% plant-based.
Roast and caramelize your veggies for maximum flavour
You could take a shortcut and just chuck all the ingredients in your soup pan, sauté until soft and then add your stock and blend everything until smooth. The soup will still taste delicious, but taking the extra step to roast your veggies in the oven first will take this soup to a whole new level!
Maximize your pumpkin and carrots
Since you are going to blend the soup later on you don’t have to be very precise when chopping up your veggies. Just make sure they are all roughly the same size so they’ll cook evenly.
Roasting your pumpkin and carrots in the oven will caramelize the natural sugars in these veggies. This brings out an amazingly sweet and nutty flavour. Chop them in similar sized chunks and spread them out evenly on an oven tray. Sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until they’re soft and starting to get some dark crispy bits.
Oven-roasted garlic might just become your new favourite way to eat this vampire repelling flavour bomb. Roasting a whole head of garlic will magically transform it into a soft, sweet, caramelized spread. The garlic cloves will get a depth of flavour that is nothing like the pungent fresh variety. It’s an amazing ingredient to add to dressings, dips, soups and sauces. Mix it with some butter to create a gourmet garlic butter that will taste amazing on bread or a steak.
Roasting a whole head of garlic is super easy to do, it will take hardly any extra time at all and is perfect to do when you are already planning on roasting veggies in the oven. Simply peel most of the papery outer layers from the whole garlic bulb. Trim off the top to expose the tops of the individual cloves. Place the whole bulb on a sheet of aluminium foil and drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Close the foil package and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Simply squeeze out the garlicky goodness and try not to eat all of it right there and then. Yes, it really is that good!
How to put this soup together
Start by peeling and cutting your vegetables. Don’t be too fussy about it, they’ll be blended to create a smooth soup anyway. It’s just important to chop them into similar sizes so they’ll cook evenly.
The exact amounts of veggies for this soup are not that important. I usually eyeball it, but I’ve weighed them out to give you an indication. Peel and chop the pumpkin and carrots, these will be roasted together on an oven tray.
Prepare the garlic as described above so that it will roast at the same time as the pumpkin and carrots.
While the veggies are roasting in the oven start cooking the roughly cut onions in a heavy-bottomed pan. I love using my cast iron Dutch oven for this soup. By giving the onions at least ten minutes to soften and caramelize they will also become sweet and match the flavours of the other veggies.
Add your spices (grated ginger, turmeric, chilli flakes, ground coriander and kaffir lime leaves) once the onions are soft and completely cooked. By cooking your spices in the oil they will release their aromatics and flavour.
Deglaze your pan with the juice of three mandarin oranges. Mandarin oranges have a sweet citrus flavour. You can substitute it with orange juice if needed. Scrape the bottom of the pan if there are any sticky onion bits.
Once the oven-roasted veggies are soft you can add them right into the soup pan. Put the garlic package to the side for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Add some hot water to the oven tray to loosen up any caramelized vegetable bits. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to release all the bits that are stuck to the tray. This is flavour gold that you can add to the soup!
Squeeze out the garlic paste and add it to the soup as well. The garlic should now be soft, squishy and taste a bit sweet and caramelized.
Add vegetable or chicken broth to the pan and let it simmer for about 15 minutes so all the flavours can mingle. I love using chicken broth to get that rich flavour, but make sure to use vegetable broth if you want the recipe to be 100% plant-based.
Add a handful of roughly cut fresh coriander (cilantro). You can use both the leaves and the stalks. Keep some of the leaves for garnish at the end.
Fish out the kaffir lime leaves before blending the soup until smooth. I find an immersion stick blender the easiest when making soups. You could also use a regular blender. (In that case, blend the soup in batches and let it cool down a bit before blending to prevent pressure from building and hot soup going everywhere!)
Add the can of creamy coconut milk to the soup after blending and mix it through. The coconut milk will balance out the other flavours and add a creaminess to the soup. Always season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve this soup immediately or store it in the refrigerator. It also freezes well, making it perfect to have on hand whenever you crave some fragrant pumpkin soup.
Serve the soup steaming hot with a dollop of (coconut)yoghurt and some fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves for garnish. Add some warm crunchy bread for dipping and enjoy this delicious soup that will nourish your body and boost your immune system at the same time!
Tips & Alternatives
- Broth options: Use a good quality organic broth for maximum flavour and health benefits. I like using chicken broth, but make sure to use vegetable broth to keep this recipe vegan.
- Kaffir lime leaves are used like bay leaves to infuse the soup with a wonderful citrus aroma. Unfortunately, there is no proper substitute for the unique flavour and aroma that these leaves will add. You could try some lemongrass to keep it in the citrus range. A sprinkle of lemon thyme will also add a nice aroma.
- Prep ahead & storage: This recipe is both fridge and freezer friendly, making it a perfect meal prep recipe. It will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Use freezer bags or freezer-friendly containers to freeze the soup in portions. Defrost the soup before reheating.