Curried Pumpkin White Bean Soup

My first introduction to pumpkin was probably like every other American’s – pumpkin pie. I had no idea that this lovely pie was made with a vegetable! The horror! I was married and just learning how to cook when I figured this out.

Pumpkin, the squash, does not taste like pumpkin pie. It’s kind of plain, really, but with some sweetness. But boy does it lend itself to all things sweet and savory.

When my kids were little, I snuck canned pumpkin into just about everything, from oatmeal and pancakes to soups, stews, and pastas. To me, the pumpkin just increased the nutrition of whatever I was making, and the girls never minded the color. Puréed spinach is a different story!

The only way to get canned pumpkin in the “old” days, was in cans. Nowadays, I purchase puréed organic pumpkin in cans or aseptic cartons. I learned a long time ago not to buy inferior brands of pumpkin. They are tasteless and watery.

If you want to be a purist, grab a cooking pumpkin, chop it in half, remove the seeds. If desired, drizzle the flesh with a little olive oil and season (if you’re using the pumpkin for something savory.) Cover the halves securely with foil, then bake in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

After the pumpkin has cooled, remove the flesh and place it on paper towels or a clean dish towel to remove the water. This step takes a couple of hours. If you want to expedite this, place a heavy baking dish over the paper towel-wrapped pumpkin flesh. This isn’t as critical of a step if you’re using the pumpkin purée for a soup.

Baking a pumpkin from scratch is an important thing to do once. It’s fun. Afterwards, you figure out it’s much easier to buy good puréed pumpkin! Plus, you know the weight of the pumpkin in the can, if you’re using a recipe.

You might have noticed this post published the day after America’s Thanksgiving event. That is because pumpkin to me is something that can be used year around. It isn’t just for autumnal dishes.

Curried Pumpkin White Bean Soup
serves 4
printable recipe below

2 tablespoons butter or ghee
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1” piece of fresh ginger, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 – 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
1 – 15.8 ounce can Great Northern beans, well drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 – 1/3 cup heavy cream, or other options, below

Heat butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes; a little browning is okay.

Add the ginger and garlic and sauté gently for about 2 minutes.

Pour in the chicken broth, let boil, then reduce the liquid by about half.

Add the pumpkin and beans and stir well. Add the seasoning and taste. Let cool before adding to the blender.

Now you’ve got curried pumpkin and white beans and you have options.

1. For a less creamy soup, use broth to blend the pumpkin and beans to your desired consistency. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or creme fraiche.

2. Use heavy cream to blend the pumpkin and beans for a super creamy and rich soup, and serve with cilantro and cayenne pepper flakes.

3. Use either of the above liquids, and top your soup with bacon bits or slices of grilled sausage. And the curry powder ingredients are optional, of course.

Because I’m a sucker for rich soups, I opted for number 2, using heavy cream. You can use 1/2 and 1/2, evaporated milk, or even goat milk. They will all work.

Stop blending when the soup is as thin as you want it; I prefer thicker soups, especially during cold months.

If you haven’t used white beans in a soup before, they’re a miracle worker. They thicken, just like potatoes, but they also add a creaminess and healthy fiber, without adding any significant flavor. It would be like adding tofu for creaminess, fiber, and thickness, which also works well.

Once you use white beans for a soup, you’ll be hooked. I promise.

 

 

By Published On: November 29th, 201947 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

47 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet November 29, 2019 at 6:10 AM - Reply

    What a nice idea to add the beans. I use butternut squash a lot, so similar, and will try adding the beans next time I make soup. As you say, it’s so versatile and I use it in all kinds of dishes.

    • chef mimi November 29, 2019 at 6:59 AM - Reply

      They are versatile. And they add, to me, a better creaminess than potatoes.

  2. thewackyspoon.com November 29, 2019 at 7:20 AM - Reply

    When you see a bowlful of spices, you just know it’s going to be delicious! On the short list to try!

    • chef mimi November 29, 2019 at 7:50 AM - Reply

      Yes indeed. And I think I forgot to include one in the shot! Love curry spices.

  3. sallybr November 29, 2019 at 8:31 AM - Reply

    Love the addition of the white beans!!!! pure genius!

    hope you had a nice Thanksgiving yesterday, we are cozying up at home today, nothing to do but relax

    • chef mimi November 29, 2019 at 8:38 AM - Reply

      That does sound nice. The rest of our family is coming over today; we’re going to raclette. I’m just glad we have a small family!

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:46 PM - Reply

      My people were here for two days. Plus for 1 1/2 days the addition of a 2 and a 5 year old. I’m exhausted. My husband said, when they all left, that he was overwhelmed and exhausted, and he hadn’t even done anything! Truer words were never spoken 😬

  4. David Scott Allen November 29, 2019 at 8:36 AM - Reply

    Ah, such a lovely dish for the day after Thanksgiving! Love the spices – and beans! I would never have thought to mix the beans with pumpkin!

    • chef mimi November 29, 2019 at 8:40 AM - Reply

      Years ago I used to teach classes on cooking – mostly how you don’t need recipes to create great, quick and easy food. People used to be astounded on how any vegetable could be pureed with beans or potatoes or tofu for a perfect soup. I still use beans a lot. They’re a fabulous ingredient.

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:44 PM - Reply

      The beans are sort of non-existent, really. Just there for creaminess and thickening. How are you feeling?

  5. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats November 29, 2019 at 9:45 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious. Love the creaminess the white beans added to the soup.

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:44 PM - Reply

      They’re a real miracle worker in that department! Thanks!

  6. Sherry November 29, 2019 at 12:04 PM - Reply

    Great idea to add the beans mimi. Very difficult to get canned pumpkin here so we have to make our own puree :-). Pumpkin soup is pretty much a staple in cafes in winter. I like to add it to vegetarian lasagne. Pumpkin puree that is, not soup. Cheers sherry

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:43 PM - Reply

      I used to teach soup classes, and I’d show how you can use white beans, potatoes, or tofu to thicken and cream up soups. You have to drain the beans well, though.

  7. Mary November 29, 2019 at 2:16 PM - Reply

    I don’t think it’s possible to buy canned pumpkin here in NZ as I don’t recall ever seeing it. Pumpkin is available in the shops all year round so we cook it. I must say it would be good to have the choice of buying a can sometimes when you don’t want the palaver of prepping the pumpkin!!
    When I want a creamy ‘sauce’ in a dish I’m making instead of adding cream I will add Coconut milk/cream which adds a nice flavour even if it doesn’t help the calorie content. I’m more likely to have a can of Coconut milk on the shelf than to have cream in the fridge! Would be lovely with your curry spices in this recipe too. The beans are an inspired addition. Yum.
    Thanks for more good ideas to fill our tummies. :))

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:43 PM - Reply

      I remember years ago it couldn’t be found in the UK either. Maybe it’s because of our Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays? It’s certainly easier to open a can of high-quality pumpkin. Maybe you should import it!

  8. Jeff the Chef November 30, 2019 at 7:54 AM - Reply

    I can see the texture from here, and it looks absolutely fantastic.

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:41 PM - Reply

      I really like what white beans do in pureed soups!

  9. cookingwithauntjuju.com November 30, 2019 at 1:37 PM - Reply

    I use to be a purist, especially when I grew my own pumpkins. Now – i use the canned version (usually). Your soup sounds wonderful with so many flavorful spices – I like the addition of the beans!

    • chef mimi November 30, 2019 at 3:41 PM - Reply

      Oh, I was also. But the Whole Foods brand of organic pumpkin is so thick and flavorful, that I’m not going back!!!

      • cookingwithauntjuju.com November 30, 2019 at 3:49 PM

        Thanks for the suggestion as I will buy it from Whole Foods and not Libby’s any more!

  10. sippitysup November 30, 2019 at 5:50 PM - Reply

    Anyone with a semi-well-stocked pantry should have this soup on the table almost as soon as the urge strikes. In my house that’s my attitude about lunch most days. GREG

    • chef mimi December 1, 2019 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      Well as you know, home cooking isn’t hard. Nor does it have to take a lot of time. That’s what I used to attempt to teach to others many years ago. You’re so right.

  11. Healthy World Cuisine December 1, 2019 at 7:29 AM - Reply

    Love your addition of white beans and ghee to this recipe. Creamy and delicious and packs on that feel good cozy feeling to this delicious soup.

    • chef mimi December 1, 2019 at 7:35 AM - Reply

      And, it’s pretty! Of course ghee isn’t necessary, but sometimes it gets lonely in my fridge! Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

  12. Ron December 1, 2019 at 9:19 AM - Reply

    Mimi, we can get canned pumpkin here but it’s very expensive, about US$7/can. So, I mostly cook my own using sugar pumpkins when I can find them or butternut squash. Just now I have a big butternut squash that’s been looking for the right recipe and your Curried Pumpkin White Bean Soup looks to be just that recipe.

    • chef mimi December 1, 2019 at 9:26 AM - Reply

      Wow! That’s crazy. Is there just no demand for it? I hope you enjoy the soup.

  13. neil@neilshealthymeals.com December 1, 2019 at 2:21 PM - Reply

    This looks like a really beautiful comforting winter soup Mimi. I love all those spices in it. I’ll have to go for a can of pumpkin puree though rather than trying to make it myself. We only really get pumpkins here in the UK in October. In fact it’s only been a few years that I’ve actually been able to get pumpkin puree in the supermarket here too!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2019 at 3:31 PM - Reply

      I remember when my daughter lived in London she couldn’t find pumpkin. (Or, salsa) But I would have thought they’re be a bigger demand for it. Really surprised, but at least you can find it now. I’d hoard it!

  14. Debra December 1, 2019 at 9:30 PM - Reply

    This is a wonderful recipe, Mimi. I love the white beans added in combination with the pumpkin. There’s nothing here that doesn’t just sound fantastic!

    • chef mimi December 1, 2019 at 9:37 PM - Reply

      Aww, thanks. I love using beans for creaminess and a thickening agent. And they don’t really affect the flavor in any way, but, like tofu, they can really shine with seasoning!

  15. popsiclesociety December 1, 2019 at 9:42 PM - Reply

    I love pumpkin soup but I never tried it with beans 😊 I so agree with you, pumpkin is great all year round even in summer time for me 😋😉

    • chef mimi December 2, 2019 at 7:06 AM - Reply

      It’s such a fabulous and versatile squash. I just love it!

  16. Laura December 2, 2019 at 8:14 PM - Reply

    Mimi, I love the addition of white beans to soups. I usually don’t blend them, but that’s a great idea! And those spices…. awesome flavor!

    • chef mimi December 3, 2019 at 6:47 AM - Reply

      I tend to blend all of my soups, unless they have pieces of meat in them like bacon or chicken. Or a chowder, I guess, but I do love a vegetable soup that’s pureed.

  17. Abbe@This is How I Cook December 2, 2019 at 9:38 PM - Reply

    I do love a pumpkin soup and this one is so full of flavor! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving Mimi.

    • chef mimi December 3, 2019 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      Thank you Abbe. I survived Thanksgiving and am moving on to Christmas. I’ve always wished that Halloween could stay on the same date, but Thanksgiving moved to December, and then. Christmas moved to February. But no one has payed any attention to me thus far!

  18. cookingontheweekends December 2, 2019 at 11:05 PM - Reply

    Such a beautiful soup with such lovely spices. I love that pumpkin is so versatile — just as delicious in savory as sweet. I’ll be trying this soup on a cool night soon. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi December 3, 2019 at 6:49 AM - Reply

      I feel that all vegetables are versatile when it comes to a pureed soup like this. I’ve surprised people with broccoli soup before – people who didn’t think they liked broccoli! It’s so fun to play with the flavors.

  19. StefanGourmet December 3, 2019 at 1:37 AM - Reply

    Canned pumpkin is not available here, so I always bake or roast it myself. Will have to try the white beans, but I rarely prepare soup.

    • chef mimi December 3, 2019 at 6:50 AM - Reply

      You should start a business importing chile peppers and canned pumpkin!

  20. Jean December 3, 2019 at 5:41 PM - Reply

    I know I would love this soup and great idea to use it with beans. I’ve never tried that. And I’m with you on buying the pumpkin puree though I do love roasted squash this time of year. I’m deathly afraid of cutting into them so I make my husband do it.

    • chef mimi December 3, 2019 at 7:55 PM - Reply

      My hands have become arthritic, something I’m really sad about, but I did discover frozen cubed butternut squash at Whole Foods! I’m not too proud to use them.

  21. Linger December 11, 2019 at 5:02 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this soup looks outrageous. And the spices must create amazing flavor that complements the pumpkin. I love that you thickened the soup with the great northern beans. There’s nothing as cozy as a flavorful soup on a cold winter night. Thanks so much for posting.

    • chef mimi December 11, 2019 at 5:56 PM - Reply

      You are always so sweet. I love using white beans for creaminess. They’re magical!

  22. Yeah, Another Blogger December 12, 2019 at 9:09 PM - Reply

    Hi. This soup sounds terrific.

    Have you had pumpkin ice cream? When made well, it’s the best. See you.

    Neil Scheinin

    • chef mimi December 13, 2019 at 9:24 AM - Reply

      Yes, love it!

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