This pumpkin soup is topped with smoky roasted chickpeas and fresh thyme, making it the ultimate cozy autumn recipe for busy weeknights!
I’m not usually a soup person. Blame it on the impatience in having to eat it one sip at a time, or my Pavlovian association between soup and being sick. But when I saw this recipe for pumpkin soup with crispy bacon and chickpeas, I decided I could probably be a soup person.
To find an equally delicious substitute for the bacon, I drew inspiration from this killer recipe by Sarah over at Well and Full. With a careful combination of spices and sauces, she transforms coconut flakes into crispy mock bacon. So I applied all of that smoky flavor deliciousness to roasted chickpeas, one thing led to another, and this bonkers tasty, smoky, hearty, savory-yet-sweet-yet-spicy soup was born!
Let’s start with the chickpeas!
Toss a can of chickpeas together with olive oil, soy sauce, sriracha, maple syrup and smoked paprika. We’ll bake these until they’re a bit crispy and caramelized. Fair warning: these will become the very essence of the soup and also your life and you’ll be forced to go buy chickpeas in bulk to supply your exponentially growing appetite for these insy flavor vessels).
How to Make Pumpkin Soup from Scratch
The two main ingredients in this pumpkin soup are the pumpkin and the roasted red bell pepper. For quicker cooking, I prefer to use canned pumpkin and store bought roasted bell peppers, but you can also make them yourself!
To make your own pumpkin puree: Sugar pumpkins (also known as pie pumpkins) are smaller and sweeter than the traditional jack-o-lantern variety. So get two of these (plus more if you want to be adorable and serve this soup IN THE ACTUAL pumpkin), scoop out the seeds and gunk, halve them, drizzle in some oil, and roast them for about an hour. (Full guide for homemade pumpkin puree here!)
To make your own roasted red pepper: At the same time, we’re going to roast a red bell pepper. This is probably one of the best flavors known to man. Just stick it directly onto the oven rack above the pumpkin (to catch any pepper-y drips), and let it blacken.
Then you’ll just get some shallots and garlic sizzling in a pot and mix in the pumpkin, roasted bell pepper, a bit of vegetable stock, and almond milk. Puree it with either an immersion blender or a countertop blender (always be careful when adding hot liquids to a countertop blender not to cover it completely – the hot air needs to be able to escape!)
Mix in a few seasonings to taste (salt + pepper + cinnamon), ladle it out, and top with the best damn roasted chickpeas you ever did taste.
Pro-tip for serving (that’s not in the photos because I discovered it later): feta cheese! A sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese brings the perfect amount of tanginess to this soup and takes it out of this world 🤯
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained, 425 g
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce use tamari for a gluten-free option, 15 mL
- 2 tsp sriracha 10 g
- 1 tsp maple syrup 5 mL
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 15-oz cans pumpkin puree* or 2 pie pumpkins, or 6 cups puree
- 1 roasted red bell pepper*
- 1 ½ cup vegetable stock 350 mL
- ½ cup plain almond milk 120 mL
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp each ground pepper, cinnamon
- Optional garnish: thyme, feta cheese
- Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Thoroughly dry chickpeas with a paper towel, then toss together with olive oil, soy, sriracha, maple, and paprika. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a little crispy. Let sit in the oven to stay warm while you make the soup.
- Soup: Meanwhile, bring olive oil to medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cooking until shallots become a bit translucent. Stir in the pumpkin, roasted bell pepper, vegetable stock, almond milk, and seasonings.
- Puree: Before the soup gets too warm, blend until smooth. This is easiest with a handheld immersion blender, or you can transfer the soup to a countertop blender.
- Serve: If you used a countertop blender, return soup to the pot over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Ladle a cup of soup into a bowl and top with a handful of chickpeas. Serve warm and with love, optionally garnished with thyme and crumbled feta cheese.
Tips & Tricks
Chop the tops off the pumpkins, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon.
Rub a touch of olive oil on the inside of each, just 1 Tbsp total, then place face down on a baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour at 350F (175C), until flesh is ultra fork tender.
- Scoop or peel the innards from the skins and use in place of the pumpkin puree. (Full guide for homemade pumpkin puree here!)
- Set a whole red bell pepper directly onto a rack above the pumpkin. Let this roast until it’s nearly black, turning it every 10 minutes or so.
- Place pepper in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for a few minutes to let the skin loosen.
- Gently peel off the skin of the pepper, remove the seeds and stem, and chop it into chunks.