m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Spicy Pumpkin Carrot Soup

This is a variation on Jenn Segal’s Spicy Pumpkin Leek Soup, based on what I had around.

Serves 4.



  • half of a medium pumpkin (about 1 ½ lbs. after halving and cleaning), or a 15 oz. can of pumpkin purée
  • 6 small carrots or 2 sweet potatoes or 2 ½ lbs leeks, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 (or more) shallots, sliced
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 3 T. olive oil


  • about 3 c. milk, coconut milk, water, and/or broth
  • 2 T. maple syrup (or to taste)
  • ½ c. ricotta or coconut cream (optional)


  • ½ T. salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • ½ tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • generous dash red pepper flakes
  • generous dash thyme
  • dash pepper
  • dash assafroa (optional)


  • yogurt (optional)


  1. Bake the pumpkin (cut side down) and carrots (cleaned) in a little water in a medium oven until soft (about 325° for about 45 minutes).
  2. Fry the shallots or leeks in the oil in a soup pot. Add the garlic, then set aside.
  3. Scoop out the pumpkin into a large bowl and puree with an immersion blender.
  4. If the carrots are still hard enough to chop, chop them into smaller bits.
  5. Add carrots, apple, maple syrup, ricotta, and enough of the milk (or other liquid) to the pumpkin bowl to help blend.
  6. Puree to desired consistency.
  7. Pour pureed ingredients into the shallot pot and turn the heat back on (medium). If the soup forms volcanoes, add more liquid.
  8. Add spices.
  9. Simmer 20 minutes or so. Adjust spices.
  10. Serve with yogurt.


The original recipe called for a large amount of leek (as noted) rather than my small amount of shallot and carrots, cream instead of the ricotta and yogurt, fresh spices instead of dried, butter instead of oil, plus more maple syrup but no black pepper and less of the hot peppers.

The original recipe also called for cooking and blending in the pot; you can do that if you’re starting from canned pumpkin or want to obliterate the shallot texture.

For smoother soup, replace the carrots with something less chunky like sweet potatoes, and puree in the pot.

Carrot isn’t necessary in general; you can add complexity with any available vegetable including the original leeks, and puree in the pot.

I have omitted the garlic and used calabaza squash (which appeared in the supermarket before pumpkins).