Jamaican Pumpkin Soup


When I was a kid, we always carved pumpkins for Halloween.  They weren’t exactly works of art – circle eyes, triangle noses, big grinning mouths with square teeth.  But the carving wasn’t the best part.  The best part was squishing your hands in the pumpkin goo and picking out the seeds so my mom could roast them.

Despite all my great pumpkin memories, I’d never tried to cook with fresh pumpkin – until this weekend.  I’m not sure why I put it off.  Maybe it was an irrational fear of cutting up peeling the pumpkin?  Turns out, that isn’t too hard.  It takes some time, but this Jamaican Pumpkin Soup (from The Daily Soup Cook Book) is worth every minute.


Jamaican Pumpkin Soup is savory, with unexpected spices and Jamaican flair.  If you’re in the pumpkin mood but not up for PSL-level sugar, give this soup a go.  And there’s a bonus to making it with fresh pumpkin: I spent plenty of time squishing my hands in the pumpkin goop and picking out the seeds.  And then I used the recipe for savory pumpkin seeds from this blog to make the topping for the soup.

Jamaican Pumpkin Soup


  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • chopped scallions
  • toasted pumpkin seeds


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, and sugar. Cook, stirring, until the onion is slightly translucent. Add the salt, turmeric, allspice, and nutmeg; stir to coat the onion mixture.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the soup comes to a simmer. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and pumpkin are fork-tender.
  3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
  4. Before serving, top bowls with scallions and toasted pumpkin seeds.