Pumpkin Soup with Cilantro-Ginger Salsa

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Prep Time: 70 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Pumpkin flesh makes a thick and satisfying soup base. The cilantro-ginger salsa topping gets its inspiration from Colombian picadillo, a zesty pepper-and-onion salsa. This soup is perfect when you want a comforting dish that’s not too heavy.


For the cilantro-ginger salsa:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. seeded and minced red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. minced green onion
  • 1 tsp. minced pickled ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. seeded and minced habanero chile
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

  • 1 small Sugar Pie pumpkin (about 2 lb./1 kg)
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) plain Greek yogurt


To make the salsa, in a bowl, stir together the cilantro, bell pepper, lime juice, green onion, pickled ginger, habanero chile, sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper and the olive oil. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.

Cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Using a sharp knife and following the contours of the squash, cut off the skin. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch (12-mm) chunks. You should have about 3 1/2 cups (20 oz./625 g). In a soup pot over medium heat, combine the pumpkin, broth, onion, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour back into the pot.

Reheat the soup gently over medium heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish each serving with about 1 Tbs. of the salsa and 1 Tbs. yogurt. Serve, passing the remaining salsa at the table. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)

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