Harvest Pumpkin Leek Soup
Harvest Pumpkin Leek Soup is a quick and easy soup I love throwing together! It’s loaded with warm, autumn flavors and is silky smooth. The hint of cream really takes this over the top! Perfect for fall lunches or as an appetizer for Thanksgiving!
This is how we Autumn.
Creamy. Cozy. Harvest pumpkin leek soup. I’m convinced that fall isn’t really here until you make a potful of warm and hearty pumpkin soup. Luxury in the simplest way possible. This spice-scented pumpkin leek soup doesn’t need to be slow-simmered for hours. It’s as simple and sautéing a few aromatics, adding in a few select spices and then tossing it in a blender to make it nice and smooth.
Guess what? It’s warm and delicious and it’s ready in about 40 minutes. In addition to being the creamiest, most velvety pumpkin soup I’ve ever encountered, it’s very nutritionally dense as it’s packed full of veggies, and there is just a smidge of cream at the end to smooth it all out.
Every year I make a batch of autumn-inspired soup around this time. Usually, I lean towards butternut squash. I’ll admit, it’s the kind that’s already cut into tiny pieces because one too many times I’ve proven, I can’t be trusted around a whole butternut squash and a butcher knife. Then, I’ll end up either tossing it all into a crockpot to slow simmer with apples and carrots or an instant pot and letting it cook until the squash is tender and the flavors blend together in harmony.
This year, I wanted to not only change up the kind of squash I’m using but also to make a stovetop version for those of us that maybe don’t own a slow cooker or an instant pot. And if that wasn’t enough, I thought it best to come up with something that I could make rather quickly. And so this harvest pumpkin leek soup was born!
The thing I love most about my pumpkin leek soup is that it’s one of those soups where the flavors intensify as it sits, so if you’re planning a holiday get together and would like to serve this soup, it works perfectly if you make it a day or two ahead. It also happens to freeze beautifully so single servings for work or a large batch for later is also doable with this soup.
What do you need to make pumpkin leek soup?
- thinly sliced leeks
- chopped onions/celery/carrots
- chopped garlic
- pumpkin puree
- bay leaf
- maple syrup
- fresh herbs
- chicken stock
- heavy cream
How do you clean leeks?
The best way to clean and prep the leeks for this soup is to cut off the dark green portion first. Do not discard, you could easily use this to make homemade stock. Then, slice the leek down the center to expose the inner layers. Place the leeks under cold running water and wash while gently separating the layers. Try to keep the halves intact though. You don’t want to separate out the layers! Once cleaned, place the cut side down on a cutting board and thinly slice them as you would any other vegetable.
The other way to do it is to cut thin rings once you’ve removed the dark green portion then submerge the rings into a bowl of cold water. Carefully remove the leeks from the top as the sediments will sink to the bottom. Either way works!
Do you have to roast your own pumpkin for pumpkin soup?
Absolutely not! This soup has been specifically developed to be made rather quickly so a can of pumpkin puree works beautifully here. If you’d rather make your own puree, more power to you! I’m sure this soup would taste even better that way!
I’m vegan, can I use something else instead of heavy cream in pumpkin soup?
You can swap the heavy cream for coconut cream to make this recipe suitable for vegans. I haven’t tried it in this recipe myself, but I have done so in other soup recipes and it works like a charm!
How to make pumpkin leek soup:
- Melt the butter in a soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onions, celery, and carrots, cook until they are fragrant and the veggies have softened. Season with a small pinch of salt and add the garlic, continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the pumpkin puree – basically, everything but the heavy cream goes in at this point. Bring the soup to a boil and allow it to simmer for roughly 20-25 minutes or until all the veggies are soft and the flavors have developed.
- Make sure to fish out the bay leaf, then pour in the heavy cream and stir to combine. Use a blender stick to help blend the soup completely or you transfer the soup to a traditional blender and blend the soup in batches until it’s smooth. Be sure to cover the lid using a dishcloth and hold it down if you decide to use this option. Once smooth, ladle the soup into bowls and top with pepitas and a drizzle of cream.
I hope you’ll make this simple harvest pumpkin soup for Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or for weekly lunches! It’s cozy and filling and you’ll feel good knowning it didn’t come from a can and that you made it all from scratch.
I love serving it alongside turkey sandwiches — a fall staple for us!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage AND fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon EACH: ground cinnamon AND cayenne pepper (omit for a mild soup or use more if you want it spicier)
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- ⅓ - ½ cup heavy cream (or coconut cream)
- SAUTE: Melt the butter in a 4-quart pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onions, celery, and carrots, cook until they soften a bit, about 7-8 minutes. Season with a small pinch of salt and add the garlic, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.
- SIMMER: Add the pumpkin puree, bay leaf, maple syrup, herbs, spices, and chicken stock. Bring the soup to a boil and allow it to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the flavors develop.
- BLEND: Fish out the bay leaf, then pour in ⅓ cup of the heavy cream and stir to combine. Using a blender stick, blend the soup or by transfer the soup to a traditional blender, blend the soup until it’s smooth. Taste and adjust with additional cream if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with pepitas and a drizzle of cream.