Spice up Thanksgiving With This Vegan, Pumpkin-Turmeric Soup

Photo: Tatiana Boncompagni

Well+Good’s recipe writer Tatiana Boncompagni is a wellness reporter, group fitness instructor, and mom of three based in New York. She’s also the co-founder of Sculptologie. She believes that truly good food nourishes both the body and the soul, and that healthy food should be easy to make and even easier to enjoy. 

One of the first things I learned to make outside of my mother’s kitchen was butternut squash soup. When I was a senior in college, I got a gig moonlighting as a server in some of the statelier townhouses in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The pay was great, work easy, and best of all (for me at least) was getting a peak inside the inter-workings of a well-oiled home kitchen.

I also picked up some great recipes. My favorite was probably butternut squash soup. It was made with boiled squash, cream, and chicken broth from a can and served (table-side, with a ladle, by yours truly) in beautiful porcelain bowls with big, crunchy croutons. The soup was delicious (they always let me try the food), not that hard to throw together, and cheap enough that I could afford to buy the ingredients with the proceeds from my student side hustle.

Years later, after having my daughter, I started making the soup again. Instead of croutons, I floated crispy oven-roasted Brussels spouts halves. This year, inspired by Thanksgiving, I decided to give my favorite soup recipe a modern, healthy update.

Immunity-boosting, vitamin A-packed pumpkin subbed for squash, and to make the soup vegan, I swapped coconut oil and coconut milk for butter and cream and iron-rich Kombu broth for chicken stock. (Kombu is an amazing secret ingredient a lot of chefs rely on to add "umami" flavor to vegetarian and vegan recipes.)  I also upped the nutritional ante with a little anti-inflammatory turmeric spice blend from a new California-based superfood company GoldynGlow and magnesium-loaded roasted pumpkin seed topping.

Want to try it for your T-Day Meal? Keep reading for the recipe.

sugar pumpkin
Photo: Tatiana Boncompagni

Vegan Pumpkin Turmeric Soup

Yields 8 Servings

1 small to medium sugar pumpkin
2 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
3 Kombu leaves
4 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2-3 Tbsp GoldynGlow Turmeric Superfood Blend (or 2 Tbsp turmeric powder)
1 can organic  coconut milk
1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
1 red serrano pepper, sliced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a large knife, Halve the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and set aside. Place pumpkin, cut side down on a baking sheet and bake in oven until flesh is completely soft, about 45 minutes.

2. Coat another baking sheet with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Remove any flesh or stringy parts from pumpkin seeds. Arrange seeds on baking sheet and place in oven. Roast seeds until crunchy and brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking process. Remove from oven, season with salt and let cool.

3. In a large pot bring Kombu leaves and water to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove Kombu and set aside.

4. In a medium skillet, sauté onion in remaining tablespoon of coconut oil until onion is translucent and softened, about eight minutes. Add ginger and Turmeric spice and sauté two minutes more.

5. Add cooked onion mixture, cooked pumpkin and three-fourths of the coconut milk to broth and transfer to a blender in small batches depending on the size and power of your blender. Blend soup until velvety smooth. (Do not overblend.) Season with salt to taste.

6. Serve warm and drizzle each serving with remaining coconut milk. Top with cilantro, sliced chili pepper and pumpkin seeds if desired.

Originally posted November 21, 2017. Updated November 19, 2018.

For more Thanksgiving food ideas, see how to incorporate avocado into every dish and try these cauliflower and pumpkin recipes

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