Creamy Oil-free Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Soup with a Thai Twist

Recipe by Katie Mae

Makes 4–6 servings | Ready in 30 minutes | Stores 1 week in fridge


½ yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, diced
4 cups water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 lb)
1 pumpkin, peeled and diced (1 lb)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons peanut OR almond butter
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
fresh diced cilantro for garnish


  1. Place a soup pot over medium heat, and add onion, celery, and garlic. Cover and sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  2. Add the water, sweet potato and pumpkin. Turn the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the starches are so soft they start breaking apart on their own.
  3. While the soup is simmering, stir in the lime juice, nut butter, ginger, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, about 20 minutes, turn the heat off and then blend the soup. This can be done in the pot with an immersion blender, or by transferring the soup to a blender (you may want to blend half at a time). Once blended into a creamy consistency, it’s ready to serve.
  5. Top individual bowls with fresh cilantro.

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Even though pumpkin has been an American favorite for thousands of years, relatively few Americans actually eat real, whole pumpkin!

I’m not sure if it was the last days of September or early October, but I walked into Trader Joe’s and felt like I was knocked over the head with pumpkin!

It was everywhere! From pumpkin pita chips to pumpkin-spiced coffee to pumpkin vinaigrettes, the shelves were pumpkin-filled.

I’d estimate that 99% of the pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages Americans are buying are not made with whole pumpkin. Most products with the pumpkin persona get it from synthetic seasonings and food coloring—not what we want to be eating or feeding our kids!

Even the beloved pumpkin pie that’s become a Thanksgiving staple is almost always made with overly-processed canned pumpkin.

If you want to truly enjoy the pumpkin flavor, grab yourself a pumpkin (yes, like a real, whole pumpkin – don’t be intimidated) and take it to the kitchen where you can practice your pumpkin-prepping skills.

Rather than give you another typical pumpkin-flavored dish with pumpkin pie seasonings, I wanted to show you how pumpkin works well with other seasonings in non-American cuisines.

The Thai flavors add an unexpected, light, and lively vibe to the otherwise rich, heaviness of the soup. The balance is just right.

This is a serious comfort meal with wholesome flavor and richness rather than an excess of processed nutrient-free calories that cause overeating and weight gain.

You’ll enjoy the warmth and the soothing texture from your mouth all the way to your belly! Happy Cooking!


  1. Nancy Payeur

    Katie – this looks like a great recipe. I have some leftover canned pumpkin to use up – how much should I substitute for the whole pumpkin in this recipe? My husband and I are doing the 101 cooking class. We’ve had some struggles and some successes but are forging on… Enjoying your handouts and the weekly lessons. Thanks! Nancy

  2. theculinarygym

    Hi Nancy! You can use 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree in place of the 1 pound of fresh pumpkin in the recipe. I’m proud of you for forging on through the challenges, and I’m delighted that you’re enjoying the course and the handouts!

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