This Vegan and Cauliflower Pumpkin Soup Recipe is made creamy with canned pumpkin and roasted cauliflower florets, then blended into a smooth, pureed soup.
This vegan pumpkin soup recipe is the perfect cozy, one pot soup to make during the colder months and is guaranteed to be your new favorite fall soup during pumpkin season! It’s also freezer-friendly, gluten-free, naturally vegan, and low in fat.
Most creamy pumpkin soup recipes are made with heavy cream or coconut cream (for dairy-free pumpkin soup), but I wanted to make a creamy soup that was lower in fat. And after a few rounds of testing, I’ve created a creamy vegan pumpkin soup recipe that is 100% free of heavy cream! Instead, this vegan pumpkin soup is made thick and velvety with roasted cauliflower florets. It’s so much better for you, yet won’t disappoint.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- It’s made using just one pot. This simple soup is blended smooth directly in the soup pot with an immersion blender.
- Light and low calorie. If you’re looking for a light dinner idea or a simple side to pair alongside Vegan Lentil Meatloaf, this pumpkin soup is perfect! It boasts just 200 calories per serving.
- Allergen friendly. In addition to being vegan, this easy cauliflower and pumpkin soup recipe is also nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free (no raw cashews, soy milk, or flour for thickening).
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Canned pumpkin puree – I prefer using canned pumpkin puree when making vegan pumpkin soup for one reason: it’s quick and easy. However, I include instructions for making homemade pumpkin puree with a roasted pumpkin in the recipe card below. If using canned pumpkin puree, be sure to buy pure pumpkin pure, not sweet pumpkin pie filling. Or, if your grocery store is out of pumpkin puree, try sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree in its place.
- vegetable broth – I use Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base mixed with water but you can use any kind of broth, including a homemade vegetable broth made from scratch!
- cauliflower – Cauliflower is the secret to making this pumpkin soup creamy without heavy cream or coconut cream. Fresh or frozen florets will work here. Just make sure not to omit! It’s really key to thickening the pumpkin soup to the right consistency and adds a boost of flavor.
- Yellow onion and garlic – Essential to a flavorful pumpkin soup. Do not skip or reduce the sauté time!
- white wine and balsamic vinegar – Both of these flavors add acidity and brightness to the cauliflower and pumpkin soup! Great to provide depth of flavor.
- pumpkin pie spice – May sound weird to include in a savory soup, but I promise it adds incredible flavor and works to balance the sweet pumpkin and savory onions in the vegan pumpkin soup!
See recipe card for quantities.
How To Make Cauliflower and Pumpkin Soup
- Sauté the onion and garlic. In a large soup pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Sauté the cauliflower florets and spices. Next, add in the cauliflower florets, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes, coating the cauliflower well.
- Simmer until fork tender. Add in the pumpkin puree, broth, and water. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat slightly, add the lid, and allow the soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower florets are fork tender.
- Blend until smooth. Turn off the heat, then using an immersion blender, blend the creamy vegan soup until smooth. Alternatively, transfer the soup in small batches to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Be careful with this method and do not overfill the blender/food processor. Heat expands when blending and can cause the lid to pop off from the pressure.
- Thicken, if desired. If you prefer an extra thick and creamy soup, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking the cornstarch and water together until well combined. Add it to the soup, resume the heat over medium-low heat, and stir until thickened to your desired consistency.
- Season and serve. Season the cauliflower and pumpkin soup with salt and black pepper to taste, then serve immediately, garnishing the top of the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds, fresh parsley, a dollop of Vegan Sour Cream, or fresh herbs such as fresh thyme.
Slow Cooker Instructions
If you need a quick and easy vegan soup you can cook hands-free, turn this recipe into a slow cooker soup.
Add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker with the onions on the bottom. Don’t stir so the onions caramelize and glaze on the bottom of the pot during cooking. Cook for 8 hours on low for best results (or 4 hours on high if needed). Stir to combine, then use the immersion blender to blend completely smooth.
Can pumpkin soup be frozen?
Most classic pumpkin soup recipes won’t freeze well because it is typically made with cream (dairy or non dairy) and cream is known to separate in the freezer. Although you can freeze soups with cream (and I even do sometimes!) it can cause separation and affect texture after thawing.
This cauliflower and pumpkin soup, however, is made with no cream and therefore will not cause any separation. I love freezing soups in my Souper Cubes because you can freeze them in ½ cup, 1 cup or 2 cup portions that are convenient to freeze, and allow you to defrost the exact number of portions you want at a time.
My favorite way to freeze individual portions and meals. Use code HOMECOOKEDROOTS10 for 10% off.
Can you make pumpkin soup with fresh pumpkin?
Absolutely! I prefer to make my vegan pumpkin soup with canned pumpkin because it is the most simple and convenient and realistic for weeknight dinner. With that being said, roasting a sugar pie pumpkin to blend into your soup would also be fantastic.
To use fresh pumpkin, substitute the canned pumpkin puree with 4 cups of cubed sugar pie pumpkin. Add the cubed pumpkin in at the same time as you would the cauliflower florets and simmer the cubes in the soup for the 20-25 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender into a DIY pumpkin puree.
For even more ideas, check out this post: What to Serve with Pumpkin Soup (47 Ideas!).
This vegan pumpkin soup recipe will store best in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and the flavor will continue to develop and deepen over time.
For longer storage, freeze this cauliflower and pumpkin soup for up to 3 months.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Chop your cauliflower florets into even, bite-sized florets to ensure they finish cooking through at the same time. Also note, the larger your florets, the longer they will take to be easily pierced by a fork.
- Sauté the onions for the full 5 minutes. This is where a lot of the flavor and body in this cauliflower and pumpkin soup is developed. Don’t rush the onions!
- Make this vegan pumpkin soup when you have excess pumpkin and canned pumpkin puree! It freezes very well and is easily doubled or tripled. You won’t be sorry you have it on hand for super quick dinners to dunk bread in!
Vegan Cauliflower and Pumpkin Soup Recipe
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
- 3 cups vegetable broth - can substitute vegan chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cups cauliflower florets - fresh or frozen
- 1 large yellow onion - sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- sea salt and black pepper - to taste
- 2 tablespoons corn starch - can omit for a thinner soup
- In a 5+ qt pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Next, add in the cauliflower florets, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Sauté for an additional 5 minutes, coating the cauliflower well.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth and water and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly, add the lid, and allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until cauliflower florets are fork tender.
- Turn off heat and blend your soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Alternatively , carefully transfer soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth. Be sure to leave ample room in a blender as heat expands.
- Optional: Stir in a corn starch slurry to thicken (Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water). If you do not mix the corn starch with water beforehand, it will clump in the soup.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
- Allow to cool completely, then store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Slow cooker method: Simply add all of the ingredients, except for the cornstarch to the slow cooker bowl, with the sliced onions on the bottom. Do not stir – this will allow the onions to caramelize. Cook on low for 8 hours for best flavor, or on high for 4. After cooking, blend until smooth with an immersion blender and then stir in cornstarch slurry, if desired.
- If you want to make this recipe with fresh pumpkin, I recommend substituting the pumpkin puree with 4 cups of cubed sugar pie pumpkin. Add the cubed pumpkin in at the same time as you would the cauliflower florets and simmer the cubes in the soup for the 20-25 minutes.
- You can also substitute the pumpkin with 4 cups butternut squash.
- This soup freezes beautifully! Allow it to cool completely before storing, then store in a freezer safe vessel. To thaw, transfer to the refrigerator for 24-48 hours then simply reheat. Any separation is natural – just stir to combine.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
Photography by: Baking-Ginger Studios
This recipe was originally published on October 23, 2020 and has been updated on November 21, 2022 with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and an improved recipe.