This pumpkin soup is made without cream, yet it’s still just as creamy and thick as the classic cream-based pumpkin soups thanks to the inclusion of cauliflower! It’s naturally vegan and gluten free, packed with flavor, and the perfect side or main dish on a cooler evening! Have this soup ready in 45 minutes!
When the weather cools down, nothing is better than warm soups! They’re easy to prepare, are super customizable, and make for even better leftovers!
When testing this soup, I tried it with coconut milk and really enjoyed it, but was committed to making a healthier version. Not everyone loves the flavor of coconut milk, and I regularly get people asking how they can make recipes lower in fat or fat free.
Then I remembered I had used cauliflower to make my homemade tomato soup recipe creamy and gave it a try.
To my surprise, I found the taste creamier than the version that included coconut milk! Healthier and tastier! Win, win.
I love serving this soup with my Vegan Cheesy Garlic Bread and highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it already.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This pumpkin soup is easy enough to whip together on busy week nights.
- It can be made with either canned pumpkin puree or cubed sugar pie pumpkin.
- It’s freezer friendly! A great use for excess pumpkin!
- Cauliflower makes this soup ultra thick and creamy without the need for any cream or dairy!
- It tastes indulgent but is super healthy and a great, lighter dinner option – just over 200 calories per serving!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- pumpkin puree – I prefer using canned pumpkin puree when making pumpkin soup for one reason: it’s quick and easy. However, I include instructions for using fresh pumpkin in the recipe card. If using pumpkin puree, be sure to buy puree where pumpkin is the only ingredient. No additives and no sweeteners.
- vegetable broth – I use Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base mixed with water but you can use any kind of vegetable broth, homemade vegetable broth included!
- cauliflower – Cauliflower is the secret to making this pumpkin soup creamy without cream. Fresh or frozen florets will work here. Just make sure not to omit! It’s really key here.
- 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 soup! Great to provide depth of flavor.
- pumpkin pie spice – May sound weird to include in a savory soup, but I promise it works and balances the sweet and savory flavors in the soup!
Step by Step Instructions
- Add sliced onions and minced garlic to a pot over medium heat. Stir frequently, until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the cauliflower florets, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice and saute for an addition 5 minutes.
- Next, add in the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, water and stir to combine. Lower the heat and add the lid and allow the soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until you can easily pierce the cauliflower florets with a fork.
- Once the cauliflower is fork tender, remove the soup from the heat and blend it until smooth with an immersion blender or a high-speed blender. This will make your pumpkin soup extra smooth and creamy!
If using a blender, do so carefully. Heat expands when blended so be sure to leave the blender half full so it has room to expand.
- If desired, stir a cornstarch slurry into the soup. This soup is already thick as so feel free to omit, but the cornstarch does help thicken it and gives it an even creamier mouth feel.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve soup immediately! It’s really the best easy, creamy pumpkin soup, but without cream!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. Butternut squash would work great here! Just make sure to keep the measurements the same, so you’ll want to use 4 cups of fresh butternut squash.
I would recommend adding additional vegetable broth until the desired texture is achieved. I don’t recommend adding additional water or you will find the flavors of your soup will be watered down!
Yes! If you prefer to make this recipe in the slow cooker, simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker stir to combine, and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. For extra flavor, sauté the onions and garlic in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker bowl.
Tips to Make the Best Pumpkin Soup!
- 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.
- Saute the onions and garlic for the full 5 minutes. This is where a lot of the flavor and body in this soup is developed. Don’t rush the onions!
- Make this soup when you have excess pumpkin and 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!
- Serve this soup with warm bread of any kind!
The best part about making a pumpkin soup without cream is you don’t have to worry about any weird separation occurring when freezing the soup!
To freeze, allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer to a ziplock bag or reusable bag and freeze flat.
Alternatively, you can use Souper Cubes to freeze your soups in single servings. I personally own several souper cube molds and can attest that they are fantastic!
Then, to thaw, simply transfer the soup to the fridge and allow to thaw for 24-48 hours.
Once thawed, warm and serve!
More Healthy Soups to Try!
- Cauliflower Potato Leek Soup
- Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Easy Vegan Crockpot Lasagna Soup
- Vegan Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Healthy Pumpkin Soup without Cream
- 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
- 3 cups vegetable broth - can substitute vegan chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
- 1 large yellow onion - sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons avocado 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 oil over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and minced garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add in the cauliflower florets, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Sauté for another 5 minutes until white wine has reduced.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth and water and stir. 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.
- Slow cooker method: Simply add all of the ingredients, except for the cornstarch to the slow cooker bowl and mix to combine. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8. After cooking, blend until smooth with an immersion blender and then stir in cornstarch, 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.
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
This recipe was originally published on October 23, 2020 and has been updated on October 4, 2021 with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and an improved recipe.